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Egyptians break into Israel Embassy in Cairo
“They have papers on us, they collect information on us, so it’s only fair that we share information on them,” he said.
It was not until several hours later that Egyptian police and military forces firing tear gas moved in to try to disperse the protesters from around the embassy. By that time, the crowds of youths had swelled to several thousand. Protesters were cleared from inside the building but held their ground outside, lobbing firebombs at the forces and setting fire to several police vehicles.
The military moved about 20 tanks and troop transport trucks into the area. State radio reported that one person died of a heart attack. About 450 people were injured, including 200 who had to be hospitalized, the Health Ministry said.
In Washington, President Barack Obama assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. was acting “at all levels” to resolve the situation.
Obama expressed “great concern” about the situation, the White House said.
Senior Israeli officials were holding discussions on the embassy breach. Israeli Defense Minster Ehud Barak said in a statement that he also spoke with his American counterpart, Leon Panetta, and appealed to him to do what he could to protect the embassy.
The demonstrations against Israel coincide with increasing discontent among Egyptians with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took control of the country when Mubarak was forced out on Feb. 11 after nearly three decades in power.
Several thousand massed Friday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, as well as in the cities of Alexandria, Suez and elsewhere. Demonstrators in Cairo also converged on the state TV building, a central courthouse and the Interior Ministry, a hated symbol of abuses by police and security forces under Mubarak. Protesters covered one of the ministry’s gates with graffiti and tore off parts of the large ministry seal.
Seven months after the popular uprising that drove Mubarak from power, Egyptians are still pressing for a list of changes, including more transparent trials of former regime figures accused of corruption and a clear timetable for parliamentary elections.
Activists accuse the council, headed by Mubarak’s defense minister, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, of remaining too close to Mubarak’s regime and practicing similarly repressive policies, including abusing detainees. The trials of thousands of civilians in military courts has also angered activists.
“In the beginning we were with the military because they claimed to be protectors of the revolution, but month after month nothing has changed,” said doctor Ghada Nimr, one of those who gathered in Tahrir Square.
One banner in Cairo read, “Egyptians, come out of your homes, Tantawi is Mubarak.”
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