08-01-2011, 03:21 PM
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Egypt Security Forces Sweep Tahir Square from Protesters
Aug 1 2011 Egyptian security forces reopened Cairo’s Tahrir Square to traffic and dismantled tents set up by protesters staging a sit-in that began July 8 to demand faster change after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
The protesters were staging a sit-in even after many activist groups suspended their participation before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which started in Egypt today.
One of the activists, Salma Saeed, said baton-wielding troops beat up some protesters, including from the families of those killed in the uprising against Mubarak, to clear the square.
The state-run Nile News television channel reported “minor” confrontations and said the security forces used no violence against the demonstrators.
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“The square was filled with people being beaten up,” Saeed, 25, said in a telephone interview. “One army officer threatened to arrest me.”
She said she had stayed in the square in support of those who lost family members and to demand the prosecution of officials involved in the killing of protesters.
At least 846 people were killed in the uprising that forced Mubarak to step down and cede interim rule to a military council on Feb. 11.
The trial of Mubarak, on charges that include the killing of protesters, will open in Cairo on Aug. 3.
Television footage showed tents in the square being dismantled and young men hurling stones at security forces. Military forces arrested a number of “thugs,” the state-run Middle East News Agency reported.
The protesters demanded the swift prosecution of former government officials accused of corruption and involvement in the killing of demonstrators and an end to military trials of civilians.
Some protesters have also called for the removal of the public prosecutor.