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Clashes in Cairo after rumors of activist's beating

Khaled Elfiqi / EPA

A woman is taken away by the Egyptian army during clashes in central Cairo on Dec. 16, 2011.

Reuters reports from CAIRO:

Protesters clashed with military police in central Cairo on Friday after rumors spread that an anti-government activist was detained at a sit-in and badly beaten, in the worst violence since the start of Egypt's first free election in decades.

Police fired in the air after dawn to try to disperse around 300 demonstrators who said they were angered by images posted online of the man - named as Abboudi Ibrahim - being supported by a crowd, his face badly bruised and eyes swollen and shut.

The fighting continued and, by mid-morning, the area around the cabinet office and parliament was strewn with rubble as soldiers and men in plainclothes threw stones from the roofs of state buildings down on protesters, who hurled back rocks. Continue reading.

Amr Hafez / AP

Protesters throw rocks and firebombs at military police as another waves a national flag during clashes near Cairo's downtown Tahrir Square, in Egypt on Dec. 16, 2011.

Khaled Elfiqi / EPA

Protesters try to enter to the Prime Ministry building in central Cairo on Dec. 16, 2011. Dozens of protesters have been camping for three weeks outside the government headquarters near Tahrir Square to prevent new Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri from entering.

Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images

Egyptian soldiers beat with their batons a protester during clashes near Cairo's Tahrir Square on Dec. 16, 2011 after demonstrators threw petrol bombs and set fire to furniture in front of the nearby parliament.

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