2 protesters reportedly killed in Egypt's Tahrir Square

Army denies using live ammunition; protesters remain in central square, demand charges against Mubarak, handover of power to civilian gov't.

April 9, 2011 12:26
2 minute read.
Protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square

Protesters in Tahrir Square Egypt Cairo 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)


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CAIRO, April 9 (Reuters) - Two men died from bullet wounds in central Cairo after the army tried to disperse protesters overnight, two medical sources said on Saturday, although the army denied firing any live rounds.

The sources at a Cairo hospital said the two were among 15 who were injured by shots.

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The sound of gunshots rang out across the area around Tahrir Square in Cairo overnight. Protesters said the army had fired shots in the air. It was not clear if there were other armed people in the square when the shots were fired.

An army spokesman denied the report to Reuters, saying the army fired blanks, not live rounds to warn protesters. The army had said in an earlier statement that it had "confronted acts of rioting and implemented a curfew" without loss of life.

On Saturday, several protesters said some of their number were injured and killed in the clashes. One pointed to a pool of blood in the square.

About 2,000 Egyptians defied soldiers who tried to disperse a protest overnight in Cairo's Tahrir Square and vowed on Saturday to keep demonstrating until former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was tried and other demands met.

Some protesters, angry at the army's use of tasers and batons to drive them out of Tahrir overnight, hurled rocks at a smoldering army truck. Two other army vehicles were burned out. Soldiers were not in the central square area on Saturday.

"Thank God, we resisted them (the army), and we are still here," said one protester in Tahrir, which was the epicenter of demonstrations that pushed Mubarak out on Feb. 11 after 30 years in office. Egypt is now run by a military council.

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Some protesters took barbed wire that had been left unused by the army and dragged it across roads leading to the square. As they had done during protests to oust Mubarak, demonstrators started checking IDs of those entering Tahrir.

"We will not leave here again until they take tangible steps to put Mubarak and high officials on trial," said Mohamed Abdul-Karim, 31, a lawyer. He said he was a member of a committee to protect the rights of people injured in protests.

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