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Protesters and tear gas in Cairo earlier today.
Protesters and tear gas in Cairo earlier today.
Image: AP Photo/Khalil Hamra/PA Images

Video, photos: Egyptian military leader says election will go ahead as violence continues

Military chief Tantawi said parliamentary elections will go ahead as planned on 28 November, but the protests continue to grow in Tahrir.
Nov 22nd 2011, 6:20 PM 963 0

THE HEAD OF EGYPT’S military command issued a televised address to the country today in which he pledged the armed forces’ support for elections and for the transfer of power from them to a new government.

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi said that the military is committed to parliamentary elections next week and to electing a new president by July 2012, an earlier date than the 2013 deadline previously proposed.

“The armed forces are not looking at all at the presidency or at power,” he said, adding that the military is willing to hand over power to an elected body.

He also suggested that the army would be prepared to hold a referendum on the immediate transfer of power, should the people prefer.

However, Tantawi’s address appears to have done little to appease the growing numbers of protesters in Tahrir Square, Cairo.

The violence continued in Alexandria for a fourth today too, and Al Jazeera’s correspondent in the city reported this evening that riot police did not stop their actions against protesters during Tantawi’s national address earlier.

Thirty-three people have died in the violence between protesters and riot police which erupted on Saturday. Today, the thousands-strong crowds in Tahrir carried the open coffin of one of those killed in the clashes. Over 1,800 people have been wounded in the violence.

Yesterday, the Egyptian cabinet offered its resignation.

Protesters had called for one million people to come together in Tahrir today, and thousands more swarmed to the square throughout the day. Here is some footage of the crowds in Tahrir this evening, captured on a mobile phone:

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Susan Ryan

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