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Egypt protesters hold firm

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Egypt protesters hold firm

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Egyptian anti-government protesters remain entrenched in Cairo’s main square, after at least three people were killed in clashes with supporters of President Hosni Mubarak.
Hundreds of people were also wounded as rival groups fought pitched battles in and around Tahrir Square, in the worst violence in nine days of protests.
The army has urged people to go home.
The protesters are demanding President Mubarak’s resignation. He insists he will serve out his term.
His current presidential term, his fifth, ends in September.
The unrest has left about 300 people dead across the country over more than a week, according to UN estimates.
Cairo’s Tahrir Square has been the main focus of the protests.
The BBC’s Yolande Knell in Cairo says the situation there remained tense on Wednesday night, with fires burning outside the Egyptian Museum.
The violence began when thousands of supporters of President Mubarak surged into the square early on Wednesday.
One anti-government protester told the BBC that the pro-Mubarak activists had initiated the fighting.
“They started throwing stones at us,” the man, named as Zaccaria, said. “Then some of us started throwing stones at them and then we chased them out of the square. They returned once again with the horses and the whips and the thugs.”
Opposition supporters say many in the pro-government camp were paid by the authorities to demonstrate, and allowed into the square by the troops surrounding it.
The two sides pelted each other with stones in running battles lasting for hours.
Egyptian troops refused to intervene, but fired into the air to try to disperse people. (BBC)