Massive anti-government protests in Egypt continue into second day, several killed

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thousands of people throughout Egypt continued protests for a second straight day, clashing with security officials. The demonstrators were protesting against the three-decade-rule of president Hosni Mubarak. Demonstrations turned violent in places, with police employing tear gas and rubber bullets while civilians hurled stones, burned tires, and even set fire to a government building. The Haaretz newspaper says there were five deaths.

Reports say such massive protests have never been seen in the country before; they come two weeks after Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown by a popular revolt. Egyptian protestors, apparently inspired by the fall of Ben Ali, are demanding that Mubarak resign, complaining about unemployment, poverty, repression, and other issues.

Over five hundred protestors were arrested during the skirmishes. Local media reports that at least fifty people have been wounded by the violence. According to media, however, there were somewhat fewer protestors on the second day of the rallies than the first, dubbed the "Day of Wrath" by anti-government supporters.

Egypt's stock market reacted negatively to the clashes, going down by six percent on Wednesday, and the Egyptian pound reached a six-year low against the US dollar.