Thousands of Egyptians across the nation staged protests on the streets against Hosni Mubarak’s regime demanding political concessions including ending emergency laws, freedom for political activity and a limit on the president’s tenure in office on Tuesday while the opposition called for protests to continue on Wednesday.
One police officer and two protesters were killed in Tuesday's violent clashes between police and demonstrators in Cairo and Suez respectively with more than 50 policemen wounded. However, the number of injured protesters in not known.
The protests are seen as an inspiration from Tunisia’s popular uprising on a day when Egypt celebrated National Police Day on Tuesday although protesters dubbed it a ‘Day of Danger’. Protesters followed it up by giving an online call for protests against corruption, poverty, unemployment and other sociopolitical grievances.
Egypt’s interior ministry said protesters have been allowed to exercise their freedom of expression and commit security forces to safeguarding rather than confronting the crowds.
The ministry said a large number of protesters affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood who began the demonstration peacefully began rioting damaging public property and threw stones at police forces
Meanwhile, security forces in Cairo threw tear gas shells and water cannons on Wednesday to disperse protesters at Tahrir Square who were shouting anti-government slogans.
Reports said some protesters were wounded and some others beaten by police with sticks.
The protests, which were the largest since Mubarak took office in 1981 followed many self-immolation cases inspired by the recent developments in Tunisia. Self-immolation of a fruit vendor in Tunisia triggered protests leading to dramatic political changes.
Egypt is due to hold presidential elections later this year and Opposition parties are demanding that Mubarak and his son Gamal should stay out of the race.
US backs Mubarak
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has gone on record to say that Egyptian government is stable as per its assessment and that America is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of Egyptians.
Clinton also said US was not taking sides between the 82-year-old dictator Hosni Mubarak and the protesting Egyptians.
President Barack Obama spoke to Mubarak last week but said nothing about the political situation in Egypt, which is an ally.