Egypt: Dozens injured in pro-Mubarak rally

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is in custody on charges of killing anti-regime protesters.

Cairo: Hundreds of supporters of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak have clashed with his foes in central Cairo and dozens were injured, the official MENA news agency reported.

A small gathering of pro-Mubarak demonstrators swelled into an 800-strong protest by early evening on Friday, demanding the immediate release of the former president who is in custody on charges of killing anti-regime protesters.

They were confronted with around 300 anti-Mubarak protesters, when arguments between both sides led to clashes, MENA said.

"Dozens of people were injured and some cars were damaged" with stones thrown from both sides, MENA said.

By Friday night, stones littered the ground on Gameat al-Dowal street in the upscale Cairo neighbourhood of Mohandesseen where the clashes took place, and riot police were stationed to maintain order, a report said.

Around 200 people had gathered after the Muslim noon prayers to demand Mubarak`s release and a ceremony to honour his "service to the country".

"Mubarak, the country is collapsing without you," they chanted, as passers-by hurled insults at them.

Mubarak is being held at a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he was taken after he reportedly suffered a heart attack during questioning.

He is to face trial on August 03, along with his two sons Alaa and Gamal, on charges of ordering the killing of anti-regime protesters and for abusing their position for economic gains.

Earlier this week, Mubarak`s lawyer Farid al-Dib said that the former president was suffering from stomach cancer and that "the tumours are growing".

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces which took power when Mubarak stepped down in February had repeatedly said it was preparing his transfer from hospital to prison, but on May 31 the public prosecutor said the former leader was too ill to be moved.

Until the outbreak of anti-government protests on January 25, Mubarak seemed insurmountable as president of the most populous nation in the Arab world, backed by the US and the military, from whose ranks he had emerged.

The spectacular fall in February of one of the region`s most powerful leaders after 18 days of nationwide protests was followed by repeated calls for his trial.

An official inquiry found that at least 846 people were killed in the protests, many from gunshot wounds. At least 6,000 were injured.

The murder charges might lead to a death sentence if Mubarak is found guilty, the justice minister said in May.

Bureau Report

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