Egypt PM apologises for violence

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Egypt’s prime minister has apologised for a fresh wave of violence in Cairo last night, which resulted in the death of a further five people as well as several hundred injuries. PM Ahmed Shafiq described the outbreak as a “fatal error” as anti government protestors clashed with Mubarak supporters in Tahrir Square, which has been the main focus of the protests. Gunfire lasted for two hours as the demonstrators continued to demand that President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled for 30 years, step down immediately. Pro-government supporters retaliated by throwing petrol bombs, wielding sticks and charging on camels and horses.

The Muslim Brotherhood, a formally banned mass movement, issued a statement on Al Jazeera calling for him to be replaced by a national unity government. The Islamist group, whose potential rise to power troubles Mubarak’s Western allies, has so far taken a backseat in the protest movement. It said: “We demand that this regime is overthrown and we demand the formation of a national unity government for all the factions.” Egypt’s Health Minister Ahmed Samih Farid said earlier that five people had died in the fighting, which began on Wednesday, and 836 were injured – mostly as the result of stone throwing and attacks with metal rods and sticks.

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