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Cairo news: Protests and clashes erupt in Egypt (LIVE BLOG)

Three Americans have been arrested in Cairo. Check here for updates on the street protests that have erupted in Cairo, Egypt.

GLOBALPOST EGYPT LIVE BLOG:

UPDATE: 10/22/11 8:45 AM ET / 2:45 PM CAIRO

Egypt's stock exchange suspended trading on Tuesday, following a loss of more than 4 percent, according to an AP report published in Al-Masry Al-Youm:

The Egyptian Exchange’s benchmark EGX30 index had fallen by over 4 percent so far on Tuesday, its third consecutive day of declines as protests and violence in downtown Cairo raised questions about the country’s stability days before pivotal parliamentary election are supposed to be held.

Market rules call for trading to be temporarily suspended if the broader EGX100 index moves by more than 5 percent.

 

UPDATE: 10/22/11 7:28 AM ET / 1:28 PM CAIRO

The student newspaper at the American University in Cairo has tweeted a video of the American study-abroad students who were reportedly arrested in Cairo over the weekend.

AUC's Caravan tweeted the following on Tuesday:

Video of detained AUCians, some of whom are Americans. MoI says they were arrested for throwing Molotovs at police

Here's the video:

CNN has also updated their story on the three American detainees:

The three boys were throwing Molotov cocktails and had no passports on them when they were picked up," said Adel Saeed, a spokesman for Egypt's general prosecutor's office.

David Lynfield, deputy press officer in the U.S. Embassy said the "claims are being currently investigated."

Authorities described the three Americans as students and said one had an Indiana driver's license.

"They have been questioned by the police and will be further investigated today by the Cairo prosecutor," Saeed said.

UPDATE: 10/22/11 5:48 AM ET / 12:48 PM CAIRO

Three Americans have been arrested during the clashes in Cairo, CNN is reporting.

From CNN:

Three Americans were arrested Monday outside the Interior Ministry in Tahrir Square and are accused of throwing Molotov cocktails during the protests in Egypt, a local prosecutor said.

A public relations official at the American University in Cairo confirmed to GlobalPost that three American study-abroad students had been arrested at some point over the weekend, and that the school was working with the U.S. Embassy to investigate their detention.

 

UPDATE: 10/22/11 4:45 AM ET / 11:45 AM CAIRO

Egypt’s military rulers have failed to improved human rights conditions in the Arab world’s most populous nation, according to a new report published by Amnesty International.

The London-based human rights group said that Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has, in some cases, a worse record of abuses than that of former president Hosni Mubarak.

"By using military courts to try thousands of civilians, cracking down on peaceful protest and expanding the remit of Mubarak's Emergency Law, the SCAF has continued the tradition of repressive rule which the January 25 demonstrators fought so hard to get rid of," said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Acting Director.

The Amnesty report comes out following a bloody weekend of clashes in Cairo, with at least 33 deaths and hundreds injured. Read the whole report here.

 

UPDATE: 10/22/11 4:22 AM ET / 11:22 AM CAIRO

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood released a statement Tuesday saying that they will not participate in any further protests "that may lead to more confrontations and tensions."

The Islamist movement also called on Egypt's ruling military to withdraw all security forces from central Cairo.

Now, it has become clearly evident that certain parties are intent on igniting the situation in Egypt’s Tahrir Square by attacking the demonstrators for three days running, with dozens dead and thousands injured. We therefore call for the rapid prosecution of all those who caused the heinous crimes that took place and were reported to the Attorney General. We also urgently call the government to stop the bloodshed by withdrawing the security forces from the bloody confrontation.

Read the whole statement here.

 

UPDATE: 10/22/11 3:59 AM ET / 10:59 AM CAIRO

Violent protests have raged in a small area of the downtown district in Egypt's capital, Cairo, for nearly 72 hours straight.  

Small-scale clashes between Egyptian police forces and around 300 protesters continued throughout the early morning on Tuesday.

Before dawn on Tuesday, some protesters managed to get within one city block of Egypt’s ministry of interior, a fortress-like headquarters for the police. Molotov cocktails were pitched into the lines of police, who responded by firing shotguns in the direction of the crowd. Several protesters fled the scene with critical injuries.

Here is video from the brief attack:

By late morning on Tuesday, intensified clashes between the two sides had resumed on the original front lines at Mohamed Mahmoud street. Police continued firing waves of tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Protesters, numbering in the thousands, responded with rocks and chants against the military-led government.

“Down with military rule!” screamed the swelling crowd.

Here is another video of the general scene on Mohamed Mahmoud - the epicenter of recent clashes - on late Monday and early Tuesday.

 

UPDATE: 10/21/11 6:30 PM ET / 1:30 AM CAIRO

Egyptian protesters pushed past police lines in the early hours of Tuesday morning on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, the focal point for most of the violent clashes over the past three days.

Security forces seemed to be in full retreat to streets near their downtown Cairo headquarters, Egypt's interior ministry.

And although protesters celebrated a respite in the tear gas with chanting and a massive bonfire on the street, occasional gunfire could still be heard in the distance.

 

UPDATE: 10/21/11 5:30 PM ET / 12:30 AM CAIRO

The White House commented on the latest violence in Egypt on Monday, hours before the transitional government of Prime Minister Sharaf tendered its resignation to Egypt's military rulers.

White House spokesman Jay Carney called "for restraint on all sides, so that Egyptians can move forward together to forge a strong and united Egypt."

Carney said:

We don’t -- as this process moves forward and as the Egyptian people shape their future, the United States continues to believe that the tragic events -- that these tragic events, rather, should not stand in the way of elections and a continued transition to democracy that is timely, peaceful, just and inclusive.

Here's the full comment from today's press briefing.

 

UPDATE: 10/21/11 5:08 PM ET / 12:08 AM CAIRO

Egyptian actor Khaled Abdalla, star of "The Kite Runner," spoke to Al Jazeera shortly after the resignation offer from the transitional government.

Here's the video:

 

UPDATE: 10/21/11 4:32 PM ET / 11:32 PM CAIRO

Egypt's ruling military council issued a statement late on Monday calling for all political parties to launch an "urgent dialogue" following one of the worst weekends of violence since the ouster of Mubarak in February.

The army statement also appealed for calm to "ensure that the political process continues to usher in a democratic transition," reported Al Jazeera.

From Al Jazeera:

The continued statement expresses "deep regret" about the casualties from the past three days, extends condolences to the families and victims, stresses that peaceful protest is a legitimate right for the citizens and announces the formation of a fact-finding committee within the Justice Ministry to determine how the violence occurred.

 

UPDATE: 10/21/11 4:17 PM ET / 11:17 PM CAIRO

Egypt's ruling military council has rejected the transitional government's request to resign, according to Ahram Online, a state-funded newspaper.

The government spokesman, Mohamed Hegazi, said that "in appreciation of the critical situation in which the country is passing through, the government will continue to perform its duties until such a time as the SCAF decides upon the resignation." He added that the government calls upon the people to exercise restraint in order "to restore order to the country and to enable it to take the first step towards democracy by concluding parliamentary elections."

 

UPDATE: 10/21/11 4:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CAIRO

Egyptian riot police are still firing endless rounds of tear gas into the crowds near Tahrir Square at this late hour.

The narrow streets within a few blocks of Cairo’s city center are covered in thick white tear gas. The effects of the gas include burning in the throat and eyes and a strong feeling of temporary suffocation in the lungs.

The Guardian reported today that Egyptian police are using mostly American-made gas, a fact that was not lost on protesters.

One Egyptian tweeted:

American-made tear gas bombs are suffocating the defenseless Egyptian protesters in #Tahrir and all around #Egypt! #OWS #Occupy #USA

From the Guardian report:

Protesters say the CS gas seems more powerful than that used by Egyptian police during the country's last popular uprising in February. "It's stronger, it burns your face, it makes you feel like your whole body is seizing up," one witness said. He added: "It doesn't seem to be combated by Coke or vinegar."

Here’s one picture of an empty canister found strewn about in the streets of central Cairo.

 

UPDATE: 10/21/11 2:50 PM ET / 9:50 PM CAIRO

Heavy gunfire is ringing out in the streets near Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Shotgun pellets could be heard ricocheting off concrete buildings, metal barricades, and other debris littered on Mohamed Mahmoud Street in the capital.

Egyptian riot police have been firing in the direction of a large crowd protesters, hundreds of whom are still chanting, “down with military rule.”

One Egyptian on the scene wrote on Twitter that there was at least one injury.

terrible terrible round of tear gas and bullets, saw a boy fall at the far frontline not moving, left behind. Retreated to square corner

 

UPDATE: 10/21/11 2:25 PM ET / 9:25 PM CAIRO

Egyptian state television has announced that the nation's transitional cabinet of ministers has resigned.

The Associated Press reports:

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf's government has come under consistent criticism from across the political spectrum since it came to office in March for its perceived inefficiency and its subordination to the military.

Al-Jazeera reported earlier that Egypt's ruling military council had already accepted the cabinet's resignation.  Reuters, however, said the military has not yet made a decision

UPDATE: 10/21/11 1:47 PM ET / 8:47 PM CAIRO

Several sources now reporting that Egypt's transitional government has submitted its resignation to the country's ruling military, in response to the violent clashes that have rocked the capital and cities throughout the country over the weekend.

UPDATE: 10/21/11 1:37 PM ET / 8:37 PM CAIRO

Egypt's largest political movement, the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood, said today that Egypt's military rulers were responsible for the latest violence in Cairo.

What happened is a heinous crime, expressing a dark deep desire, an attempt to lure faithful patriotic citizens, in order to crush them and spread chaos everywhere, to intimidate the masses of the Egyptian people, to deprive them of the benefits of democracy.

Read the whole Muslim Brotherhood statement here.

 

UPDATE: 10/21/11 1:29 PM ET / 8:29 PM CAIRO

Daily News Egypt, a local newspaper based in Cairo, reports that protesters in Tahrir Square are calling for a "million man march" on Tuesday if their demands are not met.

Protesters in Cairo have been calling for Egypt's military rulers to present a transparent plan for the transfer of power to civilian leadership. Egypt's army, which assumed control of the country last February after Mubarak's ouster, failed to deliver on its pledge to hold free and fair elections within 6 months.

UPDATE: 10/21/11 1:07 PM ET / 8:07 PM CAIRO

A YouTube video filmed during the recent clashes in Cairo reportedly shows a police officer getting congratulated by his colleagues for shooting a protester in the eye.

 

UPDATE: 10/21/11 12:51 PM ET / 7:51 PM CAIRO

The violent clashes between Egyptian security forces and protesters continued in the streets near Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Monday evening, for the third straight day.

Riot troops fired a hailstorm of tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd throughout the night. Even though street lamps were cut on the main battle line - a small stretch of street in the downtown district of the capital - hundreds of protesters surged into the line of police in the dark, attacking with rocks, Molotov cocktails, and slingshots.

Meanwhile, the death toll in Egypt has risen to 33, according to MSNBC.

We will continue to update this blog with all of the latest news from the clashes in Egypt.

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/111121/cairo-news-protests-clashes-violence-egypt-military-live-blog