CAIRO— Egyptian anti-government activists clashed with police for a second day Wednesday in defiance of an official ban on any protests. Beefed up police forces on the streets quickly moved in and used tear gas and beatings to disperse any demonstrations.
Security officials said a total of 860 protesters have been rounded up nationwide since Tuesday, when tens of thousands turned out for the largest protests in Egypt in years — inspired by the uprising in Tunisia. They demanded President Hosni Mubarak's ouster and a solution to grinding poverty, rising prices and high unemployment.
After nightfall Wednesday, more than 2,000 demonstrators were marching on a major downtown boulevard along the Nile when dozens of riot police with helmets and shields charged the crowd. It was a scene repeated throughout the day wherever demonstrators tried to gather.