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Thousands protest in Cairo as military fires back with tear gas and water cannons

Ahmed Gomaa / AP

Egyptian soldiers raise their batons at a protester during clashes outside the Ministry of Defense in Cairo, Egypt, on May 4. Egyptian armed forces and protesters clashed in Cairo on Friday, with troops firing water cannons and tear gas at demonstrators who threw stones as they tried to march on the Defense Ministry, a flashpoint for a new cycle of violence only weeks ahead of presidential elections.

Amr Nabil / AP

An Egyptian protester holds a national flag as he chants slogans at a rally in Tahrir Square in Cairo Egypt, on May 4. Thousands rallied in Egypt against the country's ruling military council on Friday, two days after a flare-up of street violence left at least nine dead and fueled a wave of Islamist-led opposition to the generals ahead of presidential elections.

Ahmed Gomaa / AP

An injured protester is evacuated by motorbike from the site of clashes outside the Ministry of Defense in Cairo, Egypt, on May 4. Egyptian armed forces and protesters clashed in Cairo on Friday, with troops firing water cannons and tear gas at demonstrators who threw stones as they tried to march on the Defense Ministry, a flashpoint for a new cycle of violence only weeks ahead of presidential elections.

Reuters reports -- Protesters threw rocks at troops guarding Egypt's defense ministry on Friday as thousands marched in Cairo to denounce violence against demonstrators and the exclusion of candidates from the country's presidential election.

The crowd hurled insults at the soldiers sent to defend the ministry after 11 people were killed in clashes there on Wednesday, and called for the overthrow of the head of the ruling military council, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.

"O Tantawi, good morning, this is your last day," shouted the crowd, and "Field Marshal leave, the people are dangerous."

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Khaled Elfiqi / EPA

Egyptian securrity forces (not pictured), use water canons against protesters, during a sit-in at Abbassiya square, near the Defense Ministry in Cairo, Egypt, on May 4. Protesters clashed for the second time in two days after marches converged at the Defense Ministry. On May 2, clashes left nine people dead after unknown assailants attacked protesters according to the Egyptian military council.

Khaled Elfiqi / EPA

Egyptian anti-military protesters hurl stones at Egyptian army forces (not pictured), during clashes at Abbassiya square, near the Defense Ministry in Cairo, Egypt, on May 4. Protesters clashed for the second time in two days after marches converged at the Defense Ministry. On May 2, clashes left nine people dead after unknown assailants attacked protesters according to the Egyptian military council.

Ahmed Gomaa / AP

An injured protester is assisted at the site of clashes outside the Ministry of Defense in Cairo, Egypt, on May 4. Egyptian armed forces and protesters clashed in Cairo on Friday, with troops firing water cannons and tear gas at demonstrators who threw stones as they tried to march on the Defense Ministry, a flashpoint for a new cycle of violence only weeks ahead of presidential elections.

Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

People attend a protest after Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo on May 4. Thousands marched to Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday to protest against the exclusion of prominent candidates from Egypt's presidential election, convinced that the country's ruling generals are trying to manipulate the outcome.