Troops Crack Down in Syria, Egypt

Tahrir Square strike comes 9 days before elections
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2011 1:45 PM CST
Protesters help a wounded man during clashes with Egyptian riot police in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011.   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
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(Newser) – So much for peaceful transitions of power in Syria and Egypt, where regime forces brutally cracked down on protesters today. In Syria, the day after officials agreed "in principle" to let the Arab League oversee a peace process, troops invaded a region near the Turkish border and a town in search of government opponents. One civilian was reported killed. Troops also gunned down two army defectors near the Lebanese border, the AP reports.

In Egypt, just 9 days before national elections, troops opened fire on thousands of demonstrators in Tahrir Square. Some 500 were wounded with rubber bullets, Reuters reports (see their compelling video here.) The fighting erupted when troops moved in to remove tents set up by protesters, after last night's 50,000-strong rally opposing military rule, the Guardian reports. "We are being hit with showers of US-made tear gas canisters, and I've watched with my own eyes at least five people being struck by rubber bullets," says one protester.

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