Brutal Clashes Continue in Egypt's Tahrir Square

Egyptian police seen beating protesters in latest raids
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2011 6:25 AM CST
Egypt Protests: Police Raid Tahrir Square in Latest Clashes
Egyptian protesters hold a national flag at center as they face tear gas at Tahrir Square today.   (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Protesters in Egypt have held on to Tahrir Square after the latest round of clashes with police, which in three days have left 22 dead throughout the country. Police burned banners and assaulted a field hospital in a raid beginning last night; protesters threw pieces of pavement at authorities; and in unconfirmed Internet videos, protesters were beaten with sticks by police, who appeared to toss a body on a heap of trash. An apparent fire in a nearby apartment building left a woman calling for help, but police shot tear gas at those below, Reuters reports.

Though demonstrators were temporarily driven from the square yesterday, they soon returned ahead of another police raid, and the Los Angeles Times reports their ranks grew to 20,000 by midnight. The unrest may complicate the country's plan to hold its first free parliamentary elections in decades; the staggered vote is due to begin next Monday, though Reuters notes that the army will retain its hold on presidential powers until a presidential poll is held, which may not happen until about a year from now; protesters object to that timeline. (More Egypt stories.)

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