Protesters Return to Cairo's Tahrir Square

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Thousands of protestors returned to Tahrir Square in central Cairo on Sunday afternoon after the military cleared most of them out earlier in the day.

"We do not want any protesters to sit in the square after today," the head of military police, Mohamed Ibrahim Moustafa Ali, told the demonstrators. The army stationed tanks and armored cars around the square.

Egyptian troops had surrounded Tahrir Square Sunday morning to disperse an estimated 2,000 remaining protesters, take down their tents and allow traffic to flow and life to return to normal in central Cairo.

Tahrir Square served as the epicenter of the protests over the past two-and-a-half weeks, which culminated in the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak on February 11.

Protesters chanted "peacefully, peacefully" as troops closed in on them. A few arguments erupted and some pushing and shoving, but generally a peaceful atmosphere prevailed as soldiers tried to convince people to leave.

"In the square, in the square. We demand our rights in the square," protesters chanted as troops surrounded them.

Ashraf Ahmed said the military can tear down his tent, but that he's not going to leave "because so much still needs to be done," The Associated Press reported. "They haven't implemented anything yet," Ahmed said.

By mid-morning, troops kept the remaining protesters in the middle of the square to allow traffic to flow.

The military detained some of the protest leaders and took around 30 others to an army holding area near the square, eyewitnesses reported.


News agencies contributed to this report.

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