Tahrir urges army out near ‘ouster day’

Tahrir urges army out near ‘ouster day’

Hundreds of protesters marched to Egypt’s defense ministry on Feb. 10 demanding the military rulers’ ouster, on the eve of a planned civil disobedience campaign to mark Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow a year ago.

The activists have planned marches in Cairo that will converge on the defense ministry as a prelude to strikes and sit-ins on Feb. 11, exactly a year after Mubarak’s overthrow left the military in charge. At the Fateh mosque in central Cairo, the protesters began chanting, “Down with military rule,” at the end of the weekly Muslim prayer before setting off in the direction of the ministry. “We are marching to the defense ministry, we want to remove the military,” said prominent activist Asmaa Mahfuz, who taped an influential video more than a year ago calling on Egyptians to rise against Mubarak. Young activists such as Mahfuz, whom the military had threatened to put on trial after she attacked the ruling generals in Internet postings, have turned their sights on the army a year after toppling Mubarak in an 18-day uprising. The military, which promises to hand over power after a president is elected later this year, said it will deploy troops across the country after the activists called the civil disobedience campaign, state media reported.

Brotherhood’s call to army

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has also called on the ruling generals to sack the military-appointed government, saying it has failed to manage the deteriorating security and economic situation in the country. The Islamic fundamentalist Brotherhood controls nearly 50 percent of the seats in the new parliament, by far the single largest bloc to emerge from Egypt’s freest and fairest elections in decades. Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan said on Feb. 9 the military should appoint a Brotherhood representative as prime minister, who would then form a new government. The calls for sacking the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri, come after deadly soccer riot that sparked days of clashes between protesters and the police. At least 74 were killed in the riot on Feb. 1 and at least 15 more died in the clashes that followed. Students in several universities have called for strikes on Feb. 11, with secular youth groups who spearheaded the revolt against Mubarak joining in.

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