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December 9, 2022

Egypt unleashes security forces to halt protests

CAIRO – Egyptian security forces turned water cannons and tear gas on protesters in the early hours of Wednesday morning to try to break up unprecedented anti-government demonstrations, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.

The government “will not allow any provocative movement or a protest or rallies or demonstrations,” the ministry said.

The clampdown comes after thousands of protesters spilled into the streets of Egypt on Tuesday, an unprecedented display of anti-government rage inspired in part by the tumult in the nearby North African nation of Tunisia.

Three people died in the clashes, the country’s official news agency said Tuesday – two protesters and one police officer.

On Wednesday, the interior ministry said 85 officers were injured, some of whom died. The ministry did not say how many had died. Protest organizers on Facebook called for “strikes and marches in populous neighborhoods” Wednesday, but did not outline specific plans.

The Interior Ministry put the size of the demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square at 10,000 at its peak, falling to 5,000. CNN estimated that demonstration peaked at 15,000 to 20,000.

The ministry urged “citizens to renounce attempts to bid and trade their problems and not lose sight of the consequences of provocation for those who attempt to try to open the door to a state of chaos or portray the situation in the country this way.” The outpouring included young and old, Christians and Muslims, students, workers and businesspeople.

“We breathe corruption in the air,” said one demonstrator, who along with others said their children have no future.

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