Late in the day, army tanks and trucks flowed into
The chaos was a visceral sign that the government of Mubarak would confront even peaceful marches with tough, rapid force, including firing tear gas and concussion grenades. ElBaradei, who had been trying to lead a demonstration when he was forced inside, called the tactics "barbaric" and condemned the government for using "inhumane weapons."
As he sat shaken and drenched, his eyes stinging from tear gas, Elbaradei, 68, said protesters had called for nonviolent change, "but I think that opportunity is over. It's now the people versus the thugs."
He added it was "time for the international
community to express its view on the so-called stability of the
Egyptian government. If they don't do that now, they will lose the
residue of credibility they have in
Thousands of protesters swarmed streets and
boulevards of the capital, battling police on bridges as tear gas
canisters popped overhead and hissed, splashing into the
"The police are trying to kill this protest as
quickly as they can because they know they can't win in a long war with
the people," said a protester,
As tear-gas canisters bounced over the pavement,
"I was born under Mubarak, and it seems I might die while he's still in power," he said. "But, God willing, this protest will be endless."
Throughout the day, the protesters smashed armored
police vehicles and battled authorities for hours. Television footage
broadcast across the Arab world showed protesters in
The protesters demand an end to Mubarak's rule, which they describe as corrupt, economically unjust and repressive. "The people want the fall of the regime," they chanted in one piece of footage as they swarmed a major thoroughfare in what appeared to be Sinai.
Earlier footage posted to the Internet, said to have been filmed in
"Leave, leave, Mubarak; Mubarak, the plane awaits you," they chanted, in reference to the
Mubarak's regime has responded to the a string of protests this week with mostly non-lethal but brutal force, and by clamping down on the Internet..
The protesters have used social media websites such
as Facebook and Twitter to organize rallies and YouTube to publicize
them. Contacts in
Activists also said land phone lines in some neighborhoods of
"Internet is blocked. Phone lines have been cut," one activist in
By all accounts, it has been a day unlike any
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