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Police Clear Protesters From Tahrir Square

Soldiers beat up protesters near Cairo's Tahrir Square on December 16.
Security forces moved into Cairo's Tahrir Square at dawn to clear out protesters demanding the country's military rulers step down.

Reports from the Egyptian capital say protesters fled into side streets. As protests entered a fifth day, the death toll stands at 13 with hundreds more reported wounded.

An army general told a news conference that "evil forces" wanted to sow chaos and said soldiers had shown "self-restraint" despite provocation by those trying to burn down buildings and create discord between the army and the people.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the "excessive" force being used against demonstrators.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was "deeply concerned" about the violence.

The human rights watchdog Amnesty International has called on arms suppliers to stop sending small arms and ammunition to Egypt's military and security forces.

compiled from agency reports