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Clashes between Egyptian security forces, protesters continue for second day

Tara Todras-Whitehill / AP

A protester throws a gas canister towards Egyptian riot police, not seen, near the interior ministry during clashes in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 20.

AP reports:

"This is what they (the military) will do if they rule the country," one protester screamed while running away from the approaching security forces.

At least a dozen of the protesters' tents, along with blankets and banners, were set ablaze after nightfall and a pall of black smoke rose over the square as the sound of gunshots rang out. Protesters initially ran away in panic while being chased by army soldiers and police, hitting them with clubs. But they later regrouped at the southern entrance of the square next to the world famous Egyptian museum and began to walk back to the square. Both sides then began pelting each other with rocks.

Tensions are rising on Egypt's streets in the days leading up to Nov. 28 — the start of the first parliamentary elections since the ouster of authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak. The violence reflects rising public anger over the slow pace of reforms and apparent attempts by the ruling generals to retain power over a future civilian government.

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Tara Todras-Whitehill / AP

A protester is treated for injuries sustained during clashes with Egyptian riot police at a makeshift hospital near the interior ministry in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 20. Firing tear gas and rubber bullets, Egyptian riot police clashed on Sunday for a second day with thousands of rock-throwing protesters demanding that the ruling military quickly announce a date to hand over power to an elected government.

Amel Pain / EPA

Egyptian protesters shout slogans against the ruling military council during clashes with security forces in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 20. According to media sources, hundreds of protesters took control of Tahrir Square in the Egyptian capital on Nov. 20, following violent overnight clashes with security forces in which two people were killed and hundreds injured. The protesters were guarding the entrances to the iconic square in central Cairo, from which security forces were forced to withdraw after clashes in which teargas, rubber bullets and shotguns were reportedly used against the demonstrators. Security forces were deployed to protect the nearby headquarters of the Interior Ministry, while traffic was being redirected from the square.

Khalil Hamra / AP

Protesters take a cover during clashes with Egyptian riot police near the interior ministry in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 20.

Khaled Elfiqi / EPA

Protesters extinguish a tent in fire after the Egyptian army came into the square and clashed with protesters, in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 20. According to media reports, Egyptian troops and security forces attacked thousands of people to force them out of central Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday. Tear gas was used and gunshots were heard, activists said, adding that security forces attacked a field hospital that was set up near Tahrir to help those injured in clashes or choked by tear gas.