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Egypt generals promise to transfer power

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 02:04

Nov. 22 - Egypt's army ruler announces a handover of power to an elected civilian president as of mid-2012. The promise fails to satisfy protesters in Tahrir Square. Katharine Jackson reports.

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Protesters hurl molotov cocktails across a barricade in Cairo. Police fire tear gas back. This - the fourth night of clashes near Tahrir Square - comes after a televised announcement from Egypt's army chief. General Mohamed Hussein Tantawi says the ruling military council will give up power if the people vote for it in a referendum. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF EGYPT'S RULING MILITARY COUNCIL MOHAMED HUSSEIN TANTAWI SAYING: "We are ready to immediately hand over responsibilities and return to its main responsibilities of protecting the nation, if the people wish, and could be carried out through a national referendum, if the situation would call for one." The military rulers also promise a presidential election by mid-2012 and earlier accepted the resignation of the prime minister's cabinet. But the news does not placate protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where thousands have massed in a surge of anger reminiscent of the movement that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) KHALED SAMIR, PROTESTER, SAYING: "We will not leave, we are here until we see changes, but now nothing has changed, we will not be fooled. The previous president attempted to deceive the people but he failed and finally responded to our demands." The U.S. State Department called the general's statements "important reassurances." But spokeswoman Victoria Nuland tells reporters the use of excessive force by Egyptian police must end. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN VICTORIA NULAND SAYING: "We condemn the excessive force used by the police. And we strongly urge the Egyptian government to exercise maximum restraint to discipline its forces and to protect the universal right of all Egyptians to peacefully express themselves." The recent violence has killed at least 36 people and wounded more than 12-hundred. Katharine Jackson, Reuters.

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Egypt generals promise to transfer power

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 02:04