Pro-Mubarak camp holds 'sorry' rally for leader | world | Hindustan Times
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Pro-Mubarak camp holds 'sorry' rally for leader

world Updated: Feb 18, 2011 19:01 IST

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Several hundred protesters gathered in central Cairo on Friday to take part in a "sorry, President" rally for Egypt's ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak.

"The people want to honour the President," they chanted, holding pictures of the 82-year-old and waving Egyptian flags.

"Mubarak, we love you. We will never forget you," others chanted, at the same time as hundreds of thousands were packed into Tahrir Square, a few kilometres (miles) away, to celebrate Mubarak's February 11 departure.

At the rally, publicised on a Facebook page calling itself, "I'm sorry, President," loudspeakers played Mubarak's final speeches to melancholy music, as a light security presence looked on.

"We are against corruption. But (Mubarak) was a man of peace. He fought in the 1973 (Arab-Israeli) war. He is like our father, we should take care of our fathers," said 57-year-old Raqia Ibrahim.

Another demonstrator, Hisham Ragab, 36, said he supported change but was "insulted" that Mubarak who ruled Egypt for 29 years was booted out of power even after having vowed not to run in September elections.

"Some people are removing his picture from buildings. He is a symbol of Egypt, we can't treat him like this," he said.

Mubarak's ouster came on the 18th day of nationwide anti-government protests which erupted on January 25. The campaign left at least 365 dead and 5,500 wounded, according to the health ministry. Scores more were detained.