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'1,000 injured' in Egypt clashes

More than 1,000 people have reportedly been injured as Egyptian security forces clashed for a second day in Cairo with hundreds of youths.

The protesters are demanding that the country's military rulers speed up prosecution of police officers accused of brutality during mass protests that forced Hosni Mubarak to step down as president.

In scenes reminiscent of the 18-day uprising that ousted Mr Mubarak on February 11, riot police deployed around the interior ministry building and fired in the air or used tear gas as demonstrators threw rocks and firebombs.

The fighting left streets littered with rocks and debris and a heavy, white cloud of tear gas hung over the area.

Army troops backed by armoured vehicles took over from riot police who had been protecting the interior ministry, closing all roads leading to the complex, the official Middle East News Agency, MENA, reported.

The protests highlight the ongoing upheaval in Egypt nearly five months after Mr Mubarak stepped down.

The country is struggling with a worsening economic crisis and a security vacuum that has led to a surge in crime.

The question of meting out justice to those responsible for the deaths of some 850 protesters during the uprising, as well as for regime stalwarts charged with corruption, is among the most divisive in post-Mubarak Egypt.

Many of those who took part in the uprising accuse the ruling military of showing too much reverence to key figures of the old regime and lenience with senior police commanders accused of ordering the killing of protesters.

Assistant health minister Abdul-Hameed Abazah said that of the injured, some 900 were treated on the spot and more than 120 went to hospitals.

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