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Rallies, Clashes Mark Second Anniversary Of Egyptian Uprising

Egyptian riot police take cover as protesters throw flares and stones during clashes in Alexandria on January 25.
Egyptian riot police take cover as protesters throw flares and stones during clashes in Alexandria on January 25.
By RFE/RL
Protestors and police have clashed across Egypt on the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled long-time leader Hosni Mubarak and there have been reports of fatalities.

Officials quoted by the Reuters news agency said 280 civilians and 55 members of the security forces had been injured as clashes broke out across the country. 

In Cairo's Tahrir Square, leading opposition politicians Muhammad ElBaradei and Hamdeen Sabbahi marched alongside thousands of demonstrators.

Sabbahi outlined for reporters some of the opposition's grievances and demands.

"Today we announce that our revolution is still ongoing," he said. "We will not allow one faction to monopolize power and thus we reject a Muslim Brotherhood state. We want a constitution that represents all Egyptians and protects their rights. We want sufficient guarantees that the elections will be free and fair, and we want justice for the martyrs of the revolution. We also want social justice that will allow for a dignified life for all Egyptians. This is our message today and the people will continue to express these demands until their revolution is complete."

Many among the marching protestors agreed with the demands and pledged to continue struggling towards overthrowing the current Muslim Brotherhood-dominated administration of President Muhammad Morsi.

Egyptian moviemaker Khaled Youssef explained why the opposition was keen on ousting the incumbent government.

"Today is a continuation of the revolution's demands represented in the fact that the people will not rest until these demands are complete," he said. "To the fore in this regard is the ousting of the current regime which does not represent the goals or spirit of the revolution."

Opposition activists in Cairo sporadically clashed with supporters of Morsi's government. Protesters threw stones at police who fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Police also fired tear gas at demonstrators throwing rocks in Alexandria.

Similar violence is said to have occurred in Suez and at least five people are reported to have been shot dead in clashes between police and protesters there. It was not immediately clear whether those killed were members of the security forces or civilians.   

Meanwhile, in Ismailia, protesters reportedly set fire to Muslim Brotherhood offices.

Opposition politician Muhammad ElBaradei had earlier called on everyone "to show that the revolution must be completed."

On January 24, Morsi had called on supporters to mark the anniversary in a "civilized, peaceful way."

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa

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