Egyptians extend protest to fourth day

CAIRO Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:13am EDT

Protesters chant slogans against the government and military rulers in Tahrir square in Cairo July 11, 2011. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

Protesters chant slogans against the government and military rulers in Tahrir square in Cairo July 11, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Asmaa Waguih

CAIRO (Reuters) - More than 2,000 Egyptians braved sweltering heat on Monday for a fourth day of protests aimed at pressing Egypt's military rulers to enact swifter reforms and speed up the prosecution of Hosni Mubarak and his allies.

The protesters have halted traffic through Cairo's Tahrir Square, a major thoroughfare and the heart of the protest movement that brought down Mubarak on February 11. Tents where some have camped stand on traffic islands in the square.

In Egypt's second biggest city of Alexandria, about 100 protesters were also camped in one of the city's main squares.

Anger has been driven by what protesters say is the ruling military council's failure to deliver on promises. One of the main demands is a swift trial for those who killed protesters.

Mubarak's trial is set for August 3, but protesters say the army has been reluctant to put the former president in the dock.

Former Interior Minister Habib al-Adli has been jailed for 12 years for corruption, but his trial over the killing of protesters continues. Protesters say the Interior Ministry has yet to be purged of officials who backed tough police tactics.

Police used live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas during the 18-day uprising. More than 840 people were killed.

"I will continue to protest until the demands of the revolution are met. It is not fair that those who killed the protesters are still sitting in their offices ... and have not been tried and sentenced yet," said John Noshy, a 23-year-old student and one of the protesters in Tahrir on Monday.

The Public Prosecution office, in what appeared to be an attempt to satisfy protesters, posted a list of the legal measures it had taken against senior officials of the Interior Ministry accused of killing protesters, including trial dates.

But that did not placate the protesters.

'YES FOR PROTESTING'

A banner at one entrance to Tahrir read: "Revolution first and if needed we are ready to sacrifice with our souls and whatever is precious for the revolution to continue and not be stolen."

"Yes for protesting until change is achieved," read one of the banners in Alexandria.

Some Egyptians, frustrated by months of turmoil, have criticised protesters for again bringing the centre of the city to a standstill and for shutting off to employees a vast administrative building that stands on the edge of the square.

"The protesters during Egypt's uprising were accused of similar accusations," Noshy said. "But when the revolution succeeded in removing Mubarak in 18 days, everyone said it was a great thing and that the protesters were good people."

There was no sign of a police or army presence in the Tahrir Square area.

(Additional reporting by Abdel Rahman Youssef in Alexandria, writing by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Edmund Blair and Peter Cooney)

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