'Police open fire as protesters re-gather in Cairo'

Eyewitnesses claim that security forces shot at protesters in Egyptian capital angry at President Mubarak's refusal to step down; Mubarak sacks gov't, defends police crackdown on protesters.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak 311 AP (photo credit: AP / Egypt TV)
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak 311 AP
(photo credit: AP / Egypt TV)
Hundreds of Egyptians gathered in central Cairo on Saturday morning, renewing protests calling on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resign.
Police opened fire on a number of the protesters according to eyewitness reports, al-Jazeera reported. RELATED:Number of dead rises to 18, 13 in Suez, in Egypt protestsThousands in Jordan protest, demand PM step downWhite House: Time for reform to come to Egypt
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Protesters also gathered in Alexandria in the area surrounding the al-Qaed mosque, al-Jazeera reported.
Earlier on Saturday, Mubarak fired his Cabinet and promised reforms in his first response to protesters who have mounted the biggest challenge ever to his 30-year rule.
But many protesters were outraged by Mubarak's nationally televised address, in which he also defended the crackdown by police on tens of thousands of demonstrators that drew harsh criticism from the Obama administration, and even a threat to reduce a $1.5 billion program of foreign aid if Egypt escalated the use of force.
Al-Jazeera reported that the dynamic between protesters and government security forces changed Friday when the military entered the streets in Cairo to replace the police; it said that protesters embraced the military's presence.
The number of people killed in the latest day of anti-government protests in Egypt rose to 30 on Friday, with 13 people killed in the port city of Suez, al-Jazeera reported.
Nearly 20 people were also reportedly injured in the protests in Suez, with over 900 people injured throughout the country.
Mubarak's decision to dismiss Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and the rest of the Cabinet would be interpreted as a serious attempt at bringing change under normal circumstances. But on a day when tens of thousands of people took to the streets to demand Mubarak's ouster, it fell far short of expectations.
Click here for full Jpost coverage of unrest in Egypt
Click here for full Jpost coverage of unrest in Egypt