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Mubarak faces challenge from the streets

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Mubarak faces challenge from the streets


Egyptian protesters are said to be back in the streets to demand an end to their president’s 30-year rule.

They are continuing demonstrations despite a ban on public gatherings introduced by the authorities in an attempt to quell growing unrest.

Disturbances late on Tuesday continued into the early morning as Egyptians vented their frustrations and made similar demands to those of their north African neighbours in Tunisia. Amid a rising cost of living and chronic unemployment, many Egyptians want President Hosni Mubarak to leave office in the same manner as Tunisia’s long-standing leader Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia earlier this month after weeks of popular protests.

Yesterday three people died in unrest in Egypt, including one police officer, as disturbances broke out in several cities.

“We are not humans, they’re treating us like dogs. God will punish them,” said one young man.

Street sweepers are now clearing away the debris and some sort of calm has returned, but the streets are still filled with police.

“This paper says we want to bring the regime down, therefore we’ll continue what we’ve started here this morning, just staying here until we bring the current system down,” said another protester.

In all between 20 and 30,000 police were deployed in the capital. Observers say these are the worst disturbances since 1977, when a rise in the price of bread sparked riots.

In an indication of how seriously the administration is taking the disturbances Twitter reports its service has been blocked in Egypt.

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