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Protesters complain that court officials generally have been lax with police officers accused of shootings during the uprising, allowing many to stay on the job while facing murder charges or setting them free on bail. They say this leaves victims’ families subject to intimidation.

By contrast, human rights activists complain that minor offenders and protesters are referred to military tribunals — known for quick and harsh sentences.

Also on Wednesday, a bridge under construction over the Nile collapsed and four of the workers building it drowned in the river. Their deaths set off protests by angry relatives who blocked traffic for hours along the Nile-side road in Cairo linking the upscale southern suburb of Maadi with the city center.

A security official said the relatives were angered because rescue services took too long to get to the scene. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

In another sign of jitters in Egypt, a sonic boom that rattled buildings in Cairo caused many residents to phone emergency services because they mistook it for a large explosion.

Sonic booms are rare in Egypt. Speculation about the cause of the loud boom went on for more than an hour, reflecting a heightened sense of nervousness in the ongoing turmoil.

A military official said the boom was caused by a warplane in training breaking the sound barrier in the Cairo skies, according to the official state Middle East News Agency.