The protests in Egypt on Tuesday turned violent with at least three people reported to have been killed and tear gas and water cannons were used to disperse the crowds who had gathered in central Cairo following the opposition call for a Day of Revolt.

Police moved in around 1.00 pm local time and cleared the crowds, said a report by BBC. By dawn, the streets were cleared in central Cairo, which some reports said were reminiscent of similar protest by Chinese students in Tiananmen Square more than adecade ago.

Egypt, a close ally of the United States, triggered reaction from Washington which said in a statement that it supports the fundamental right of expression and assembly for all people. All parties should exercise restraint, and we call on the Egyptian authorities to handle these protests peacefully.

We are monitoring the situation in Egypt closely, said Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs, in Washington on Wednesday.

We want to see reform occur, in Egypt and elsewhere, to create greater political, social, and economic opportunity consistent with people’s aspirations... We have raised with governments in the region the need for reforms and greater openness and participation in order to respond to their people’s aspirations – and we will continue to do so, said the statement.

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