Egyptian police clashed with hundreds of protesters in Cairo through the night and early this morning, leaving at least 61 people injured.
The protesters, who assembled to mark similar demonstrations a year ago that left 45 dead, gathered near the Interior Ministry building, chanting “the people want the end to the regime.” Police used tear gas to repel the demonstrators who hurled stones and attempted to destroy a wall.
Activists and political groups have called for mass protests across the country on Nov. 23 to demand the dismissal of the government, the state-run Ahram gate website reported. The calls come in the wake of this week’s fatal train and bus collision in Assiut that left 51 dead, most of them children.
The violence underlined the task facing President Mohamed Mursi, the country’s first popularly elected leader, who’s struggling to restore order and reinvigorate the economy even as near-daily protests break out over issues ranging from the violence in Gaza, to jobs and surging crime.
Protesters are also demanding changes to the Islamist-led Constituent Assembly, a body tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution, to make it more representative after 30 liberal and Christian members announced their final withdrawal from the body on Nov. 18 in protest at what they say is the body’s monopolization by Islamists.