Tens of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets of the capital Cairo following Friday prayers on a fourth consecutive day of protests against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.
They were joined by activist and Nobel Laureate Mohamed Elbaradei.
As Egypt’s security forces struggled to keep order and snatch squads moved in to arrest suspected ringleaders, confrontations broke out all over the city in a day of unprecedented unrest.
At the Fatah Mosque in central Ramses Square, several thousand people were penned in and teargassed.
Protesters quickly dispersed and regrouped as the chaos spread across the city.
Many of those on the streets are young men.
Two thirds of Egypt’s 80 million people are below 30 and many have no jobs, their fury inspired by recent events in Tunisia.
One protester summed up the determination of the popular movement saying “ this protest is not going stop . They won’t, they can’t trick the people again and give us lame concessions. Hosni has to go.”
After hours of confusion Mubarak ordered a curfew in an attempt to contain what the regime calls the lawlessness, looting and attacks on government property. The army then trundled onto the streets and a day of violent protest turned into a evening of high tension.