Fresh anti-government protests rock Egypt

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Fresh anti-government protests rock Egypt

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“The people want the regime to fall.”

That has been the rallying cry amid unprecedented scenes in Egypt as thousands defied a government ban to protest President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year-old rule.

Tyres were burned and stones hurled at police in Cairo. Plain clothes officers dragged demonstrators away, said witnesses, beating them with batons.

Fresh clashes were also reported elsewhere in the country.

At least six people have been killed in protests this week in Egypt, inspired by Tunisia’s revolution. Hundreds more have been detained.

Our correspondent in Cairo, Mohamed Elhamy, says at first it was about economic demands. People were protesting against poverty and unemployment, for lower prices and a more equal distribution of wealth.

But by Tuesday night, the demands had turned political, focussing on a call not to vote for President Mubarak or his son in the upcoming presidential elections and to dissolve the national assembly and parliament and to end the state of emergency in the country

Elhamy says these are the protesters’ main demands and they maintain they won’t stop until the government gives in to them.