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Protests continue for the 3rd day in Egypt

(China Daily)
Updated: 2011-01-28 08:15
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Demonstrators demand that the current government step down

CAIRO - Egypt's unrest continued for a third consecutive day on Thursday with protesters calling for a one-million-man-march after Friday prayers.

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Eyewitnesses said that protests continued for the third day in front of Lawyers syndicate in central Cairo amid high security presence. Hundreds of young Egyptians demanded an end to Mubarak's 30-year-rule.

Clashes between hundreds of protesters and security forces are taking place in central Ismaliya city, east of Egypt, on Thursday, with people demanding the current government to step down.

According to Xinhua reporter, six protesters have been detained while urging the ruling National Democratic party to be dissolved, the government to step down and asking for proper political reforms in the country.

Egypt's Nobel price laureate Mohamed El Baradie will arrive in Egypt on Thursday to join demonstrations that are scheduled to take place after Friday prayers.

El Baradie's arrival might fuel more people to join the protests.

"Egypt has friendly relations with China, and China has been closely watching the development of the current situation in Egypt", said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Thursday.

"China hopes Egypt can maintain social stability and normal order," he added.

Egypt's official MENA news agency said early Wednesday that one policeman was killed and 104 policemen or police officers were injured, including one in coma.

The Egyptian Interior Ministry on Wednesday announced a ban on any protests.

The ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) said in a statement on Wednesday that it rejected violence and damage of public properties to destabilize social security.

Protests continue for the 3rd day in Egypt

It also rejected incitement calls made by some outlawed groups and other popular parties seeking to exploit youths to serve their "chaos agendas".

The statement said the NDP urged its members and youths to be tolerant and accept others' opinions if they are legitimate.

The party would keep all communication and dialogue channels open to all Egyptian youths, it said.

The NDP was due to hold a meeting on Thursday to discuss the recent situation.

A meeting of the Governors Council, set for Thursday, has been postponed until next week or later, MENA quoted Egypt's Cabinet spokesman Magdi Radi as saying on Wednesday.

Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif said security personnel will intervene to confront any attempts by those trying to destabilize the country, it added.

Unemployment, high food prices and poverty are believed to be some of the reasons behind the protests, which were inspired by the recent happenings in Tunisia.

Egypt's official data showed the country's unemployment rate stood at about 9 percent. But many protesters believed the rate was much higher.

Before the protests, Egypt reported several self-immolation cases, which were also believed to attempt to instigate protests against the government.

Protesters have demanded the resignation of the president and the dissolution of the parliament, among others.

Zhou Wa and Xinhua contributed to this story.