Fresh rally planned in Cairo

2011-02-08 11:01

Egyptian protesters were calling for another mass rally today as protesters at Cairo’s Tahrir Square dug in for their third week of demonstrations.

Thousands again camped overnight at the central square with more mass protests planned to step up pressure on embattled President Hosny Mubarak to step down immediately.

The protest is planned as a second day of talks between the government and opposition groups is expected to get under way.

The Egyptian cabinet, which was reshuffled in the wake of the protests, announced late yesterday it would raise public-sector salaries and pensions by 15% in a bid to assuage public anger.

Anti-Mubarak demonstrators hope today will witness another “million man march” as many vowed to join after the emotional release of Google executive Wael Ghoneim late yesterday.

Ghoneim, arrested three days after demonstrations began, blamed the government for the deaths of protesters in an interview that granted him the title “mayor of Tahrir Square”.

At least 300 people were killed nationwide in clashes over the past 15 days, the United Nations reported.

Human Rights Watch told the German Press Agency dpa this death toll was “conservative”.

The Egyptian government has not released its own figures for protest-related deaths, but said that at least 5?000 people were injured.

Protesters, however, are still unsatisfied by the lack of progress in the first round talks between Vice-President Omar Suleiman and opposition figures.

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