Protesters, police clash in Cairo's Tahrir on anniversary of deaths

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 19, 2013 7:45 AM

CAIRO (Reuters) - Police fired teargas to disperse a crowd of several hundred people in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Tuesday, two years after 42 were killed in protests against military rule.

The protests were a mark of the turmoil that has dogged Egypt since the army ousted elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July and took back control of the Arab world's most populous state.

Some supporters of army chief General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who overthrew Mursi and promised free and fair elections, also showed up at Tahrir but were chased away by activists.

Sisi has become the most popular figure in Egypt, a major, U.S.-ally in the Middle East. Criticism of him is rare.

A small minority of hardcore activists are using the anniversary of the November 2011 clashes on Mohamed Mahmoud Street near Tahrir to highlight the actions of security forces who have acted mostly with impunity in political upheaval since 2011.

In unusual defiance of the army, some activists wrote on social media about their desire to overthrow what they call the new "military junta", a reference to the interim government installed by the army after Mursi's removal.

Security forces have killed hundreds of members of Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood movement since he was toppled. Thousands have been arrested, including top leaders.

(Writing by Michael Georgy; editing by Patrick Graham)