The Associated Press
Egyptian anti-government protesters throw stones during clashes in downtown Cairo, Egypt on Thursday. New clashes are heating up again and shots are being fired in the air around Cairo’s central Tahrir Square as anti-government protesters push back regime supporters. The two sides are trading volleys of stone-throwing, but government backers are falling back and protesters are swarming onto a highway overpass from which their rivals had pelted them with stones and firebombs overnight.
CAIRO (AP) - Despite violent efforts by supporters of President Hosni Mubarak to squash their protests, demonstrators have again been packing Cairo's central square today to demand his ouster.
Thousands, including families with children, flowed over bridges through a series of checkpoints into Tahrir Square. The crowd appeared to approach 100,000, which would make it the largest since Tuesday, when a quarter-million people turned out.
A group of Mubarak supporters gathered in another square several blocks away, banging sticks on metal fences. But as they tried to move toward Tahrir, protesters throwing rocks forced them back.
Meanwhile, detailed scenarios are being discussed for a transition to democratic rule. U.S. officials say one possibility includes Mubarak's immediate departure, with a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman taking over, backed by the military.
The protesters have said nothing can be done before the 82-year-old president leaves. Mubarak warned if he steps down now, it would trigger chaos.
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