Clashes erupted in Cairo for a third day after fighting between security forces and demonstrators protesting military rule left at least 22 people dead, a week before Egypt’s first parliamentary elections since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.
Protesters were driven back by tear gas in Tahrir Square, the center of the uprising that toppled Mubarak in February, some waving Egyptian flags and others hurling stones at riot police, in scenes televised from the site. Besides those killed, hundreds were injured in the fighting that started on Nov. 19, Health Ministry spokesman Mohammed el-Sherbeeny said today by telephone.
The events in the square recalled the clashes between police and demonstrators during the anti-Mubarak uprising and have threatened to disrupt elections scheduled to start on Nov. 28 as tensions rise between activists and the ruling military council. Egypt’s government is trying to secure financing to support an economy still struggling to recover from the revolt.
This afternoon, demonstrators staged a march through Tahrir Square, chanting “The people want to topple the field marshal,” referring to Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the military council that took power from Mubarak. Television footage showed protesters carrying away at least one person who appeared to be wounded or dead.