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An Egyptian protester using scrap metal as a shield takes cover from tear gas during clashes with security forces near Tahrir Square on Wednesday. Police are clashing with anti-government protesters for a sixth day.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Khalil Hamra / Associated Press

Riot police clash with protesters near Tahrir Square on Wednesday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Khalil Hamra / Associated Press

Protesters clash with security forces near Tahrir Square on Wednesday. Tens of thousands of protesters have rejected a promise by Egypt's military rulers to speed up a presidential election to the first half of next year.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Khalil Hamra / Associated Press

Doctors and medical students provided first aid for hundreds of protesters.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mohannad Sabry / MCT

Protesters take cover from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes in a side street near Tahrir Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: GORAN TOMASEVIC / Reuters

A riot policeman fires at protesters from a rooftop during clashes at a side street near Tahrir Square on Wednesday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: GORAN TOMASEVIC / Reuters

Protesters run after riot police fired tear gas during clashes in front of the security administrative building.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY / Reuters

A protester runs after setting fire to a car during clashes with police in front of the security administrative building.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY / Reuters

Demonstrators aim sling shots during clashes with Egyptian riot police.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: MOHAMMED HOSSAM / AFP / Getty Images

Egyptian demonstrators on a Cairo street wear masks to protect them from tear gas. Thousands of protesters swarmed Tahrir Square on Tuesday to demand an end to military rule, heightening tension after days of deadly clashes that threaten to derail next week's legislative polls.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: MOHAMMED HOSSAM / AFP / Getty Images

Riot police stand behind flames from Molotov cocktails during clashes with protesters on a side street near Tahrir Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: GORAN TOMASEVIC / Reuters

An injured protester is carried Tuesday during clashes with riot police on a road leading to the Interior Ministry headquarters near Tahrir Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: AMR ABDALLAH DALSH / Reuters

Milk is sprayed in a protester's eyes to alleviate the effects of tear gas during clashes with riot police on a side street near Tahrir Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: GORAN TOMASEVIC / Reuters

Riot police throw stones during clashes with protesters along a road leading to the Interior Ministry.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: AMR ABDALLAH DALSH / Reuters

A riot policeman fires rubber bullets at protesters during a clash along a road leading to the Interior Ministry.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: AMR ABDALLAH DALSH / Reuters

A protester displays tear gas canister and rubber bullet cartridges during a clash with riot police on a side street near Tahrir Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: GORAN TOMASEVIC / Reuters

A protester takes cover during a clash with riot police on a side street near Tahrir Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: GORAN TOMASEVIC / Reuters

Protesters chant slogans in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the focal point of the uprising that ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Thousands of Egyptians rallied Nov. 18 in the iconic square, with Islamists in the forefront, in a protest against what they say are attempts by the country's military rulers to reinforce their powers.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Khalil Hamra / Associated Press

Egyptian flags are held aloft as tens of thousands of protesters rally in Cairo's landmark Tahrir Square with the aim of pushing Egypt's ruling military to cede power, 10 months after an uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak's regime.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Khaled Desouki / AFP/Getty Images

An Egyptian boy with his face painted in the colors of the national flag joins protesters chanting slogans in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the focal point of the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Khalil Hamra / Associated Press

An Egyptian protester holds pictures of ousted Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi dead and alive that bear Koranic verses referring to people who don't learn from the mistakes of others, as tens of thousands of Egyptians take part in a rally in Cairo's landmark Tahrir Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Khaled Desouki / AFP/Getty Images

Egyptian protesters rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Tens of thousands of people, most of them Islamists, gathered for the demonstration against moves by the military to entrench its hold on the country.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Khaled Elfiqi / European Pressphoto Agency

An Egyptian protester holds a placard reading in Arabic "A modern state with an Islamic identity" during the demonstration in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Khaled Elfiqi / European Pressphoto Agency

An Egyptian protester waves a banner from atop a lamppost in front of the damaged headquarters of the former ruling party in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Amr Nabil / Associated Press

Egyptian protesters rally in the coastal city of Alexandria with the aim of pushing the ruling military to cede power 10 months after an uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak's regime.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: AFP/Getty Images

An Egyptian protester holds a sign reading "One demand: To elect a new civilian president before April 30, 2012" as tens of thousands of Egyptians take part in a rally in Cairo's landmark Tahrir Square on November 18, 2011 with the aim of pushing Egypt's ruling military to cede power, 10 months after an uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak's regime.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: KHALED DESOUKI / AFP/Getty Images

Egyptian women wearing the niqab shout slogans during the rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The protest was dominated by the country's most organized political group, the Muslim Brotherhood. It was called to protest a document floated by the government which declares the military to be the guardian of "constitutional legitimacy," suggesting the armed forces could have the final word on major policies. The Arabic reads "The prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Amr Nabil / Associated Press

Tens of thousands of Egyptian protesters perform the Friday prayer during the rally in Cairo's landmark Tahrir Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Khaled Desouki / AFP/Getty Images

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Egyptian protest targets military prior to elections

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Egyptian protest targets military prior to elections

[UPDATED] Nov. 22, 2011 – Egypt’s military rulers are in emergency talks with political groups Tuesday as thousands of protesters marched into Cairo’s Tahrir Square on the fifth day of pro-democracy rallies that have left at least 29 people dead.

The interim government’s entire Cabinet has offered to step down, but it is uncertain if the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will accept the resignations. Protesters say they will not leave the square until the ruling generals relinquish power before parliamentary elections Monday.

Dominated by Islamists and including a smattering of secularists and liberals, crowds swelled into Tahrir Square in one of the largest demonstrations since Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February. These factions have competing political agendas but were united in condemning the supreme council’s refusal to cede power to a civilian government.

The protest came nearly one week ahead of parliamentary elections and was another troubling sign that Egypt has yet to find a path toward a viable democracy. The military has expanded martial law and locked up bloggers and dissidents.

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