Hundreds of Egyptian youths clashed with security forces for a second day today during protests calling for the resignation of Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Egypt’s temporary military ruler.The Guardian reports that fighting broke out last night as armed security police let loose bullets and tear gas on several thousand protesters in Tahrir Square, the site of the “Arab Spring” uprising that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
At least 1,000 people have been injured, including 40 policemen, the Ministry of Health reported today. Protesters have set up a makeshift hospital on Tahrir Square to care for the wounded.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry has blamed the unrest on “thugs” intent on destabilizing the country. Demonstrators have denied those claims, and say they are protesting to demand that the country’s military leadership speed up prosecution of police officers accused of brutality during January’s uprising.
Critics have accused Tantawi of stalling the process of purging Mubarak loyalists and reforming the reviled Interior Ministry security forces. They charge that Tantawi’s policies are designed to preserve Egypt’s old guard.
Tahrir Square is closed to traffic today, but about thousands of protesters are still in the streets, according to the AP.
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