UK & World News
New Cairo Curfew As 300 Protesters Are Held
Egypt's military has imposed a new curfew after 300 people were detained following deadly clashes with anti-army protesters, amid spiralling tension ahead of a presidential poll.
The army imposed the overnight curfew around the defence ministry for a second successive night, state television said.
The curfew was announced as military prosecutors said the arrested people, including nine journalists, "will be held for 15 days pending investigation".
However a military source said all the detained women, believed to number up to 20, would be released.
The clashes on Friday in the Abbassiya district left two people dead, including a soldier, and at least 300 injured.
The clashes erupted just three weeks ahead of Egypt's first presidential election since a popular uprising ousted long-term leader Hosni Mubarak last year.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has vowed to hand power to civilian rule when a president is elected.
But protesters believe the army wants to maintain a degree of power even after the election and fear the polls will rigged in favour of a pro-military candidate.
"We are here to end SCAF rule. We don't trust them. SCAF is following Mubarak's example, and we want to protect the revolution," said Mohammed Badawi from Ismailiya, a member of the Coalition of Revolution Youth.
Protests subsided on Saturday morning in the defence ministry area, with soldiers and armoured personnel carriers blocking off a road to the headquarters.
On Friday, military police had charged the protesters, chasing them down side streets near the ministry on foot and in military vehicles, firing birdshot and assault rifles into the air amid chaotic scenes.
The Abbassiya neighbourhood witnessed deadly clashes just two days earlier, which the health ministry said left at least nine people dead, although field medics say more died.
Activists said at least 12 people were wounded and more than 100 injured in those clashes.
Masked attackers had stormed a sit-in near the defence ministry by supporters of Salafist politician Hazem Abu Ismail, after he was disqualified from the presidential race.