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One Year On, Egyptians Back on Tahrir

RIA Novosti

18:13 25/01/2012 CAIRO, January 25 (RIA Novosti) - Thousands of Egyptians gathered on Wednesday on Cairo's central Tahrir Square to meet the first anniversary of the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.

Supporters of all major Egyptian political forces gathered on the square, the center of last year's 18-day protests that ended 30 years of Mubarak’s authoritarian rule. They remembered the victims of the uprising, which claimed the lives of more than 800 people, according to official estimates.

Earlier on Wednesday, the country’s military junta partially lifted the state of emergency that has been in place in Egypt almost continuously since 1967.

But the measure has failed to convince many protesters who believe that police abuse would continue despite the ruling. Many demonstrators urged on Wednesday an end to the rule of the country’s Supreme Council headed by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who took power from Mubarak in February last year and has since remained the country’s de facto leader.

The Muslim Brotherhood movement, whose Freedom and Justice Party won 40 percent of the vote in the recent parliamentary elections, has called for restraint, saying it did not want enmity with the military rulers.

Demonstrators on Tahrir demanded the execution of Mubarak, the Youm7 online news portal reported. The ousted Egyptian dictator is on trial on charges of ordering the killings of demonstrators in last year’s protests. He has maintained his innocence.

Slogans in support of anti-regime protesters in Syria and Yemen and against Israel were also heard on Tahrir, the report said.

Checkpoints operated by Muslim Brotherhood members were installed on Wednesday around the square. A few clashes were reported between demonstrators, and police said it had detained a man who headed to the square with a handful of pistols, steel weapons and ammunition.

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