Death toll rises to 13 on 4th day of Egypt violence

Soldiers wielding batons, firing teargas battle protesters calling for end to military rule; Clinton urges calm on both sides.

By REUTERS
December 19, 2011 13:07
1 minute read.
Protester fires slingshot at soldiers in Cairo

Egypt slingshot 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

 
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Egyptian security forces fought opponents of army rule in Cairo for a fourth day on Monday and the United States, worried by the violence, urged the generals to respect human rights.

Medical sources said the death toll had risen to 13 since Friday, when clashes erupted. Hundreds have been wounded.

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Police and soldiers using batons and teargas drove stone-throwing protesters out of Cairo's Tahrir Square, hub of the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in February, overnight.

Hundreds had returned to the square by morning after security forces retreated behind barricades in streets leading to parliament, the cabinet office and the Interior Ministry.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the "excessive" force used against the demonstrations that have widened a rift among Egyptians over the role of the army and cast a shadow over the country's first free election in decades.

The violence broke out just after the second stage of a six-week election for Egypt's new parliament that starts the slow countdown to the army's return to barracks. The military has pledged to hand power to an elected president by July.



US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was "deeply concerned" about the violence and urged the security forces "to respect and protect the universal rights of all Egyptians".

In a statement to a nation which has received billions of dollars in US military and other aid, she also called on protesters "to refrain from acts of violence".

An army source said 164 people had been detained. A security source said a 26-year-old man had died in custody, although the cause of death was not immediately clear.

State news agency MENA said the public prosecutor had detained 123 people accused of resisting the authorities, throwing rocks at the army and police, and setting fire to government buildings. The prosecutor had released 53 others.

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