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Police, protesters in bloody clash ahead of vote in Egypt

Khalil Hamra / AP

Egyptian riot police clash with protesters in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 19. Egyptian riot police beat protesters and dismantled a small tent city set up to commemorate revolutionary martyrs in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Saturday. The clashes occurred after activists camped in the central square overnight following a massive Friday rally. The military tolerates daytime demonstrations in the central square, a symbol of the country's Jan. 25-Feb. 11 uprising, but claims that long-term occupation paralyzes the city.

According to AP

"Violence breeds violence," said Sahar Abdel-Mohsen, an engineer who joined in the protest after a call went out on Twitter urging people to come to Tahrir to defend against the police attacks. "We are tired of this and we are not leaving the square."

Police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and beat protesters with batons, clearing the square at one point and pushing the fighting into surrounding side streets of downtown Cairo.

A 23-year-old protester died from a gunshot, said Health Ministry official Mohammed el-Sherbeni. At least 676 people were injured, he said.

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Khalil Hamra / AP

Protesters help a wounded man during clashes with Egyptian riot police in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 19. The violence took place just nine days before Egypt's first elections since the ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak in February.

Asmaa Waguih / Reuters

Protesters run from tear gas thrown at them by police during clashes at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Nov. 19.

Ahmed Khaled / EPA

Egyptians youth attack a police vehicle in Tahrir square, in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 19. The activists began their action late Friday with an open-ended strike in protest against what they said was a murky plan from the country's military rulers to hand over power to a civilian administration.

Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

An Egyptian prays and tries to stop clashes with riot police at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Nov. 19.