A fight for control of Tahrir Square

Al Jazeera reports: Egyptian security forces are engaged in back-and-froth street battles in downtown Cairo’s Tahrir Square with thousands of defiant activists who filled the square for the second day of protests against the country’s interim military leaders.

Thick clouds of tear gas filled the air on Sunday as military police armed with batons and shields charged into the square, firing rubber bullets and forcibly clearing the area of protesters. The assault sparked panic among the estimated 5,000 protesters, many of whom had remained in Tahrir since early on Saturday.

A short time affter the offensive, however, a surge of protesters returned to the square, overwhelming security forces and retaking the area.

“This is what the Egyptian army calls protecting the revolution,” Salma Said, a democracy activist, told Al Jazeera. “We’ve lost so many people in the last nine months. We want Field Marshall Tantawi gone. We’re going to keep fighting, we don’t have any other options.”

At 5.50pm local time, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported: Protesters marching through Tahrir Square are chanting, “Tantawi is the enemy of God.” Another group is chanting Ultra football fan anti-security songs.

Meanwhile, EgyNews, an official state website, just announced that military police and security forces have completely cleared Tahrir Square of demonstrators. However, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm correspondents in the square, thousands of protesters remain.

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