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Egypt military rulers move up power transfer date

November 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A so-called "second revolution" is growing in Egypt. Protesters have flooded Cairo's Tahrir Square for a fourth straight day, answering a call to intensify pressure on Egypt's military leaders to hand over power to a civilian government.

Egyptian politicians announced on Tuesday that they have moved up the date for transferring power to July 1, 2012. Previously, the military rulers had floated late next year or early 2013 as the timetable for transferring power.

But the tens of thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square immediately rejected the news, chanting, "We are not leaving, he leaves," referring to military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.

"Our demands are clear. We want the military council to step down and hand over authority to a national salvation government with full authority," said Khaled El-Sayed, a member of the Youth Revolution Coalition and a candidate in the upcoming parliamentary election. The commander of the Military Police and the Interior Minister, who is in charge of the police, must be tried for the "horrific crimes" of the past few days, he added.

Abu al-alla Madi and Mohammed Selim el-Awa, two politicians who attended a five-hour crisis meeting with the military rulers, said the council accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf's government and will form a "national salvation" Cabinet to replace it, but it has failed to end the trouble.

Thousands have been camping out and clashing with police trying to force them to leave. Among those arrested are three Americans, who have been described as students.

Officials said they were throwing Molotov cocktails. The U.S. Embassy is investigating.

Egypt's state TV said three people were killed overnight, raising the overall death toll from the protests to 29.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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