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5 killed as protesters say no more to Mubarak

Cairo Anti-government protesters said on Thursday they were more determined than ever to topple President Hosni Mubarak.

The stand came after supporters loyal to Mubarak charged Tahrir Square, sparking violence that killed five people.

Supporters of President Hosni Mubarak opened fire on protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Thursday, killing at least five, in a fresh spike in violence over an unprecedented challenge to his 30-year-old rule.

Hundreds of people camped overnight in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the epicentre of protests seeking to end Mubarak’s 30 years of authoritarian rule.

The scene was calm after dawn broke, after violence throughout Wednesday and into the early hours.

“One way or another we will bring Mubarak down. We will not give up, we will not sell out,” some shouted in the early morning

Despite the violence, the square stayed in the control of anti-government protesters.

Though they were fewer than in previous days, the level of public dissent remains unprecedented in the heavily policed state.

Many protesters guarded barricades around the square against pro-Mubarak loyalists.

Television footage on Al Jazeera showed army units in the area arresting people in civilian clothes.

Protesters had said on Wednesday that some pro-Mubarak supporters who attacked them had been questioned by soldiers.

Egypt’s health minister said five people were killed in the violence and 836 wounded, while 86 of those were still hospitalised.

Al Arabiya television, without citing sources, said more than 10 were killed and 1,500 wounded.

Protesters made makeshift clinics to provide first aid to the wounded before sending them to hospital when needed.

“Things have calmed down now, but through the night we were getting dozens of wounded every 15 minutes and we had casualties all over the place.

“Thugs surrounding us tried to attack more of us but we managed, thankfully, to block their advance,” said Mohamed Abdel Hamid, a doctor.

On Wednesday, some pro-Mubarak supporters charged at the anti-government protesters on horseback and on camels.

The Mubarak loyalists opened fire and threw stones and petrol bombs and protesters in the square barricaded themselves in the square and hurled stones back.

They shielded themselves with metal sheets and other items available in the square and its surrounding shops and buildings and they also chased loyalists, seizing at least five and handing them over to the army.

The army gave heart to the protesters on Monday by endorsing their demands as legitimate and pledging not to open fire on them.

But since Tuesday evening, when Mubarak responded to the protests by saying he would not stand for re-election in September, the soldiers have largely stood by without intervening, despite repeated calls from the protesters to help.

“What happened yesterday (Wednesday) made us more more determined to remove President Mubarak,” a spokesman for the protest movement Kefaya, told Al Jazeera television.

“There will be no negotiations with any member of Mubarak’s regime after what happened yesterday and what is still happening in Tahrir Square,” a man addressing the protesters there by loudspeaker told those who slept at the square. (NAN)


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