Egyptian police and soldiers fired weapons and used batons and teargas for a fifth day today in the latest security operation to clear Cairo\\\’s central Tahrir Square of opponents of army rule.
The troops and police initially succeeded in chasing the protesters out of the square, but they returned a short time later using a different route. The security forces pulled out of the square following clashes in which each side pelted the other with rocks.
At least 14 protesters have since been killed, but the protesters say the latest attack produced more casualties.
More than 500 have been wounded and scores have been detained in attempts to disperse protests in and around Tahrir Square, hub of the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in February.
The brutality shown by the troops to protesters, particularly the women, drew the ire of the U.N. rights chief and unusually harsh words from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The image of a young woman being dragged on the ground, stripped half naked and stomped on by soldiers stood out as the most compelling of the images used by the activists. It was also posted on social networking sites and splashed on the front pages of independent newspapers.
Women, including the female journalists, also gathered at Tahrir square in central Cairo to express their anger against the treatment meted out to females.
The protesters are demanding the military rulers step down immediately and hand power to a civilian government. They accuse the military council of manipulating the country\\\’s transition process to retain permanent powers.