Three more people died in Cairo on Wednesday, a medic said, as violence which has killed dozens raged into a fifth day despite promises by Egypt’s military ruler to speed up the transition to democracy.
Clashes broke out in Moh-ammed Mahmud street, just off Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square, where thousands of protesters rallied again on Wednesday to demand an immediate end to military rule.
State news agency MENA reported that one person was also shot dead in the northwestern city of Mersa Matruh when security forces clashed with demonstrators trying to storm a police station.
Riot police erected barricades on Mohammed Mahmud street, shooting tear gas and birdshot, which ricocheted off concrete buildings, sending dust and chips of cement into tear gas-filled air, according to an AFP reporter.
The military beefed up security in the flashpoint street, which leads from Tahrir Square to the heavily-fortified interior ministry, deploying extra armoured vehicles in a bid to halt the clashes.
A 10-year-old child was among the latest casualties, hit in the head by a live bullet, according to Father Fawzi Abdel Wahib at a church turned into a field hospital, although it was unclear if the boy had died.
The UN human rights chief Navi Pillay called on Wednesday for an independent probe into the killing of demonstrators by Egypt’s military and security forces.