Egyptians protest on date of Mubarak's fall
CAIRO — Security forces sprayed protesters with water and tear gas outside the presidential palace on Monday as Egyptians marked the second anniversary of the fall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak with angry demonstrations against his elected successor.
The forces were trying to disperse a small crowd of protesters after some of them attempted to cross a barbed wire barrier meant to block them from the palace gate. Some protesters chanted: “The people want to bring down the regime.” Others threw stones.
Graffiti scribbled on the palace walls read: “Erhal” or “Leave,” the chant that echoed through Cairo's Tahrir Square during the 18-day uprising that ended with Mubarak stepping down on Feb. 11, 2011.
Earlier, masked men briefly blocked trains in a central Cairo subway station and a dozen other protesters blocked traffic with burning tires on a main overpass in Cairo. Hundreds rallied outside the office of the country's chief prosecutor demanding justice and retribution for protesters killed in clashes with security forces after Islamist President Mohamed Morsy took office last summer.
The protesters lobbed plastic bags filled with red liquid at the prosecutor's office to recall the blood spilled by civilians in clashes with security forces. His appointment by Morsy was criticized as a violation of the judiciary's independence. Another group of protesters locked shut the doors of the main administrative building for state services just outside the subway station at Tahrir Square.
Egypt has been gripped by political turmoil since Mubarak's ouster, in an uprising driven largely by anger over widespread abuse at the hands of state security agencies. After he stepped down, Mubarak was replaced by a ruling military council that was in power for 17 months.
Morsy won the first free elections in June. But he and his Muslim Brotherhood, which rose to be Egypt's most powerful political group post-Mubarak, are facing the wrath of Egyptians who drove the 2011 revolt, but who say few of their goals have been realized.