Masses rally in Egypt to mark ‘bloodiest’ day

Masses rally in Egypt to mark ‘bloodiest’ day

CAIRO / WASHINGTON
Masses rally in Egypt to mark ‘bloodiest’ day

An Egyptian protester prays as he takes part in a rally demanding democratic change at Tahrir Square on Jan 27, a year after a popular uprising. AFP photo

Tens of thousands protesters massed in central Tahrir Square in a new uprising anniversary rally Jan. 27, with many demanding an early transfer of power by the ruling military and the trial of generals for the killing of protesters.

The protests, which included mass rallies in other Egyptian cities, commemorated the first anniversary of the “Friday of Rage,” one of the bloodiest days of the 18-day wave of protests a year ago that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

In last year’s “Friday of Rage,” Mubarak’s security forces fired on protesters marching toward Tahrir from around the capital, killing and wounding hundreds. Protesters battled back for hours until Mubarak’s widely hated police forces collapsed and withdrew from the streets. Meanwhile, Egypt’s decision of barring six Americans working for publicly funded U.S. organizations from leaving the country provoked angry demands in Washington that Cairo’s new military rulers stop “endangering American lives.”

“We are urging the government of Egypt to lift these restrictions immediately and allow these folks to come home as soon as possible,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

The travel ban was part of an Egyptian criminal investigation into foreign-funded democracy organizations after soldiers raided the offices of 10 such groups last month, including those of two American groups.

Compiled from AP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff.

Egypt, Egyptian, State Department