Protesters in Egypt have regrouped in Cairo’s Tahrir Square after military forces dispersed crowds that stayed late into the night to rally against the country’s former and current leadership.
Military police swept into the square, swinging batons and firing shots, at around three in the morning to clear out protesters defying a curfew. Witnesses say protesters were beaten, while bloodstains could be seen on the streets early Saturday.
Egypt’s ruling military council released a statement saying police were confronting rioters and trying to enforce the curfew, blaming the violence on outlaws.
Egyptians have been growing more frustrated with the country’s military leaders who have taken control of the country. Demonstrators Friday called for the removal of Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who heads the military council.
Protesters formed a human wall to protect several army officers who joined Friday’s demonstrations against the orders of the armed forces.
Witnesses say military police cracked down on protesters left in the square early Saturday after one of the biggest demonstrations in the Egyptian capital since former President Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign February 11.
Demonstrators have accused the military of protecting Mr. Mubarak, who has been living in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh with his family. Protesters want him to be tried for corruption.