1 000s protest in Cairo, Alexandra

2012-05-04 16:06

Cairo - Thousands of anti-military protesters took to the streets in Cairo and Alexandria on Friday, days after bloody clashes near the defence ministry raised tensions ahead of landmark presidential elections.

In the capital, several thousand gathered in Tahrir Square and hundreds were in the Abassiya neighbourhood near the defence ministry, despite stern warnings from the army.

Others carrying posters of demonstrators who died during last year's uprising against president Hosni Mubarak made their way to Abbassiya, where army troops were stationed along barbed wire fences.

Friday's protest comes just three weeks before the country's first post-revolt presidential election, after which the ruling military is to hand power to civilian rule.

But protesters say they fear the elections will be rigged in favour of a pro-military candidate. Others say they do not trust the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to fully hand power to civilian rule.

"We are here to end SCAF rule. We don't trust them. SCAF is following Mubarak's example, and we want to protect the revolution," said Mohammed Badawi, a member of the Coalition of Revolution Youth, who came from the canal city of Ismailiya.

Another protester from the Nile Delta city of Mansura, Ahmed Gamal, said he feared the upcoming elections will be "forged."

"After the revolution, there should be an election committee with integrity. Instead they brought a corrupt one," the 22-year-old told AFP.

The protest comes two days after deadly clashes in the Abbassiya neighbourhood which left at least nine people dead according to the health ministry, though field medics say more died.

Read more on:    hosni mubarak  |  egypt protests  |  north africa  |  egypt 2012 elections
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