Weekend of violent protests in Egypt

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The Egyptian revolution is unfinished, according to the opposition supporters in Egypt.  On Saturday, the opposition which saw an end to Mubarak’s presidency organised a demonstration to march on the Defence Ministry in protest at what many see as the slow pace of reforms since the revolution, and the appointment by army chiefs of a number of figures from the old regime to posts in the current Egyptian cabinet.

The ranks of the demostration were swollen by many individuals who had been angered at violence during demostrations the previous day, when opposition demostrators clashed with military police.  The army denies it used undue force.

Numbering in the tens of thousands, marchers congregated in Cairo’s Tahriz Square from where they set off for the Defence Ministry amidst chants of “peaceful protest” and calls for the resignation of Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling military council.

However the demonstration was prevented from reaching the buildings of the Defence Ministry when the protestors were apparently attacked by thugs in civilian clothing who threw stones and firebombs at the demonstrators.  The demonstrators retaliated by tearing up paving stones and throwing them back.  According to a report from the Egyptian Health Ministry to state television yesterday, over 140 people have been injured in the violence, some seriously.  

The opposition believes that the violence is being orchestrated by the military, although the ruling military council denies this.

Violence has continued over the weekend, as demonstrators continue to demand the resignation of Field Marshall Tantawi.