Photos: Protests continue in Egypt

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  1. People take part in Friday prayers in Cairo's Tahrir Square before a mass rally on Nov. 25. Thousands of Egyptians continue to occupy the square ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for Nov. 28. (Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Egyptian protesters pray during a march in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Nov. 25. Egypt's ruling military council appointed Kamal Ganzouri on Friday as prime minister to form "a national salvation government" to replace the cabinet that resigned earlier in the week. (Esam Omran Al-Fetori / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Supporters of the Egyptian Armed Forces shout slogans and wave Egyptian national flags on a road near the defence ministry, headquarters of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, at Abbasiya square in Cairo Nov. 25. More than 5,000 pro-army Egyptians rallied as Egypt's military rulers named a veteran politician as prime minister in an attempt to quell mass protests that have killed 41 people.

    Story: Egypt military woos public to keep power (Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Volunteers clean up garbage and rocks on Nov. 24 after clashes in Alexandria, Egypt. Protesters and police observed a truce after violence that killed 39 people in five days. (Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A riot policeman fires a gun, allegedly at protesters, during clashes on a side street near Tahrir Square. (Goran Tomasevic / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Wounded protesters are driven away to a makeshift hospital in Tahrir Square on Nov. 23. (Andre Pain / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. A protester wears a gas mask, goggles and a pail to protect himself from tear gas canisters lobbed by riot police during clashes near Tahrir Square on Nov. 23. (Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. An Egyptian soldier tries to keep thousands of protesters away from riot policemen during a demonstration in Tahrir Square during the fourth day of clashes with security forces on Nov. 22. Demonstrators are demanding an end to military rule, heightening tension after days of deadly clashes that threaten to derail next week's legislative polls. (Khaled Desouki / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Egypt's Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, longtime defence minister who is now the country's de facto ruler, addresses the nation in a televised speech in Cairo on Nov. 22. The head of Egypt's ruling military council accepted the cabinet's resignation and said the military was ready to hold a referendum for immediate transfer of power. (Egyptian state TV / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. A protester displays empty tear gas canisters as others chant slogans during clashes with riot police in Cairo on Nov. 22. (Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Protesters carry a wounded comrade to a nearby hospital on a motorcycle during a demonstration by tens of thousands of Egyptians in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Nov. 22. (Khaled Desouki / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Protesters pack Cairo's Tahrir Square on Nov. 22 as clashes between police and protesters demanding democratic change entered a fourth day. (Khaled Desouki / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Protesters take shelter behind a wall during clashes with riot police on a side street near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, on Tuesday, Nov. 22. Egyptians frustrated with military rule battled police in the streets as the generals scrambled to cope with the cabinet's proffered resignation after bloodshed that has jolted plans for the country's first free election in decades. (Goran Tomasevic / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Riot police stand behind flames from molotov cocktails during clashes with protesters on a side street near Tahrir Square on Nov. 22. (Goran Tomasevic / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. An ambulance makes its way through thousands of protesters as they attend a funeral of a victim of earlier clashes in Tahrir Square on Nov. 22. (Khaled Desouki / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. A riot police officer fires tear gas during clashes with protesters near Tahrir Square on Nov. 22. (Khalil Hamra / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. A protester throws a tear gas canister, which was earlier thrown by riot police during clashes along a road which leads to the Interior Ministry, near Tahrir Square on Nov. 22. (Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Protesters carry a wounded man during clashes with riot police near Tahrir Square on Nov. 22. (Khalil Hamra / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. People carry the body of a protester who was killed in clashes with the riot police during his funeral in Tahrir Square on Nov. 22. (Khalil Hamra / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Protesters clash with riot police in Alexandria on Nov. 21. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Protesters stand in line to protect the field hospital in Tahrir Square, Cairo, on Nov. 21. (Mohamed Hossam / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Protesters run from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes in Tahrir Square on Nov. 21. (Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. An injured protester is helped away during clashes with security forces in Tahrir Square on Nov. 21. (Khaled Desouki / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Protesters throw stones at riot police firing tear gas and rubber bullets near Tahrir Square on Nov 21. (Goran Tomasevic / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. A protester winces after being exposed to tear gas during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo on Nov. 21. (Asmaa Waguih / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. A riot policeman aims a shotgun with rubber bullets at protesters, next to a plainclothes policeman during clashes in Cairo on Nov. 21. (Goran Tomasevic / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Protesters carry a man injured during clashes with riot police in Cairo on Nov. 21. (Goran Tomasevic / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. A protester stands on top of a burned car in a Cairo street on Nov. 21. (Khalil Hamra / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. An Egyptian protester hurls a tear gas canister back at security forces as others run for cover on the third day of clashes at Tahrir Square in Cairo on Nov. 21. (Mohammed Hossam / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Two Egyptian protesters help a man overcome with tear gas during clashes in Tahrir square, in Cairo, Egypt, on Nov. 21. (Mohammed Abu Zaid / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. An Egyptian protester sprays water on the eyes of a fellow demonstrator after tear gas was fired by security forces in Tahrir Square on Nov. 21. (Mohammed Hossam / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Canadian volunteer nurse, Merikel, right, helps an Egyptian medical team treat an injured protester at a field hospital at Tahrir Square in Cairo on Nov. 21. (Amr Nabil / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. A protester climbs a burned building to rescue residents trapped by fire during clashes with police in Cairo on Nov. 21. (Goran Tomasevic / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. An Egyptian protester shouts during clashes with security forces at Tahrir Square in Cairo on Nov. 21. (Mohammed Hossam / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. Firemen try to put out a fire started by protesters during clashes with police in front of the Security Administrative building in Alexandria, Egypt, on Sunday, Nov. 20. (Stringer / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. A protester overcome by tear gas kneels in the middle of the street during clashes with Egyptian riot police near the interior ministry downtown Cairo, Egypt, on Nov. 20. (Tara Todras-whitehill / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Egyptians protesters are pushed away by security forces during clashes in Cairo on Nov. 20. (Khaled Elfiqi / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. Protesters run from riot police spraying tear gas, during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo on Nov. 20. (Asmaa Waguih / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. A protester receives medical treatment at a field hospital after being wounded in clashes with Egyptian riot police in Cairo on Nov. 20. (Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. Egyptian protesters are confronted by riot police firing rubber bullets and tear gas in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Nov. 19. (Khaled Desouki / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Egyptian riot police clash with protesters in Tahrir Square in Cairo on Nov. 19, as Egyptian riot police dismantled a small tent city set up to commemorate revolutionary martyrs in Cairo's Tahrir Square. (Khalil Hamra / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. Egyptian youths attack a police vehicle in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 19. (Ahmed Khaled / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. Protesters chant slogans in Tahrir Square, the focal point of the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, in Cairo on Nov. 18. (Khalil Hamra / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. Egyptian protesters take over Tahrir Square in Cairo on Nov. 18. (Khaled Elfiqi / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
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msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 11/21/2011 7:13:38 PM ET 2011-11-22T00:13:38

Egypt's civilian cabinet offered to resign Monday after three days of violent clashes between demonstrators and security forces in Tahrir Square, but the action failed to satisfy protesters deeply frustrated with the new military rulers.

Earlier on Monday, Cairo police fought protesters demanding an end to army rule for a third day and morgue officials told Reuters the death toll had risen to 33, making it the worst spasm of violence since the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt's ruling military council accepted the cabinet's resignation, Al-Jazeera television reported, citing unnamed sources. That report has not been confirmed by other news organizations.

Throughout the day, young protesters demanding the military hand over power to a civilian government fought with black-clad police, hurling stones and firebombs and throwing back the tear gas canisters being fired by police into the square, which was the epicenter of the movement that ousted authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak.

Tens of thousands in square
By midnight tens of thousands of protesters were in the huge downtown square.

The clashes have deepened the disarray among Egypt's political ranks, with the powerful Muslim Brotherhood balking at joining in the demonstrations, fearing that turmoil will disrupt elections next week that the Islamists expect to dominate.

The protests in Tahrir and elsewhere across this nation of some 85 million people have forced the ruling military council as well as the cabinet it backs into two concessions, but neither were significant enough to send anyone home.

The council issued an anti-graft law that bans anyone convicted of corruption from running for office or holding a government post, a move that is likely to stop senior members from the Mubarak regime from running for public office.

Hours later, the cabinet of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf submitted its resignation to the council, a move that was widely expected given the government's perceived inefficiency and its almost complete subordination to the generals.

Protesters cheered and shouted "God is great!" when the news arrived of the Cabinet resignation offer, but they almost immediately resumed their chant of "The people want to topple the field marshal" — a reference to military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.

"We are not clearing the square until there is a national salvation government that is representative and has full responsibility," said activist Rami Shaat, who was at the site.

The council released a statement late Monday calling for a national dialogue to "urgently study the reasons for the current crisis and ways to overcome it."

The statement, carried by Egypt's state news agency, said the military deeply regrets the loss of life and has ordered the Justice Ministry to form a committee to investigate the incidents of the past few days. The military said it ordered security forces to take measures that would protect demonstrators, who have the right to peaceful protest.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the United States was deeply concerned about the violence and urged restraint on all sides so Egypt could proceed with a timely transition to democracy.

Election next week
The bloodshed in and around Cairo's Tahrir Square, epicenter of the anti-Mubarak revolt, threatens to disrupt Egypt's first free parliamentary election in decades, due to start next week.

Clashes have raged on and off since police used batons and tear gas to try to disperse a sit-in in Tahrir on Saturday.

Demonstrations were also taking place in Alexandria, Ismailia, Suez and Al Arish in Sinai, NBC News' Richard Engel reported from Cairo on Monday. Protesters vowed to organize a "million man" march in Cairo on Tuesday.

Protesters have brandished bullet casings in the square, but police deny using live fire. Medical sources at Cairo's main morgue said 33 corpses had been received there since Saturday, most of them with bullet wounds. At least 1,250 people have been wounded, a Health Ministry source said.

"I've seen the police beat women my mother's age. I want military rule to end," said 21-year-old Mohamed Gamal. "I will just go home in the evening to change my clothes and return."

Islamists dominated demonstrations against army rule on Friday, but the unrest in Tahrir since then has drawn in many of the young activists who helped topple Mubarak on February 11.

Army generals were feted for their part in easing him out, but hostility to their rule has hardened since, especially over attempts to set new constitutional principles that would keep the military permanently beyond civilian control.

Police attacked a makeshift hospital in the square after dawn on Monday but were driven back by protesters hurling chunks of concrete from smashed pavements, witnesses said.

"Don't go out there, you'll end up martyrs like the others," protesters told people emerging from a metro station at Tahrir Square, where about 4,000 had gathered by midday.

Video: Violence returns to Egypt’s Tahrir Square (on this page)

'No going back'
"There is clearly no going back as you can see this violence cannot be swept under the table," said Essam Gouda, a protester in Tahrir, who said two marches were due to converge there by mid-afternoon.

"We aim to control the entry points to the square so that security doesn't block protesters from entering," said Essam.

Story: Egypt in uproar after blogger posts nude photos

The violence casts a pall over the first round of voting in Egypt's staggered and complex election process, which starts on November 28 in Cairo and elsewhere. The army says the polls will go ahead, but the unrest could deter voters in the capital.

Some Egyptians, including Islamists who expect to do well in the vote, say the ruling army council may be stirring insecurity to prolong its rule, a charge the military denies.

Political uncertainty has gripped Egypt since Mubarak's fall, while sectarian clashes, labor unrest, gas pipeline sabotage and a gaping absence of tourists have paralyzed the economy and prompted a widespread yearning for stability.

In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday that the U.S. is deeply concerned about the violence and is calling for restraint on all sides. He said despite the clashes between security forces and protesters, Egypt must proceed with a timely transition to democracy.

Egypt's state news agency MENA said 63 flights to and from Cairo had been canceled because of the latest unrest.

The military plans to keep its presidential powers until a new constitution is drawn up and a president is elected in late 2012 or early 2013. Protesters want a much swifter transition.

The army said on Monday it had intervened in central Cairo to protect the Interior Ministry, not to clear demonstrators from nearby Tahrir Square, whom it also offered to protect.

"The protesters have a right to protest, but we must stand between them and the Interior Ministry," said General Saeed Abbas. "The armed forces will continue in their plans for parliamentary elections and securing the vote."

The Interior Ministry, in charge of a police force widely hated for its heavy-handed tactics in the anti-Mubarak revolt, has been a target for protesters demanding police reform.

"Unfortunately the Interior Ministry still deals with protests with the same security mentality as during Mubarak's administration," said military analyst Safwat Zayaat.

The latest street clashes show the depth of frustration, at least in Cairo and some other cities, at the pace of change.

"Military rule is defunct, defunct," crowds chanted. "Freedom, freedom."

Internet clips, which could not be verified, showed police beating protesters with sticks, pulling them by the hair and, in one case, dumping what looked like a body on a rubbish heap.

Residents reacted angrily when police fired tear gas into a crowd gathered below a burning building 200 meters (yards) from Tahrir Square, hindering the rescue of trapped residents.

Outside the burning apartment building, protesters chanted "Tantawi burned it and here are the revolutionaries," referring to Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak's defense minister for two decades and leader of the army council.

"I don't want Tantawi ... I am staying tonight," said Ayman Ramadan, a data entry clerk, said early on Monday morning.

Doctors in orange vests were treating casualties on pavements in the middle of Tahrir.

Presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, a Salafi Islamist, told protesters: "We are demanding as the minimum that power be handed over within six months."

Presidential hopefuls Mohamed ElBaradei and Abdallah al-Ashaal denounced violence against protesters and called for a national salvation government, MENA said.

Liberal groups are dismayed by the military trials of thousands of civilians and the army's failure to scrap a hated emergency law. Islamists eyeing a strong showing in the next parliament suspect the army wants to curtail their influence.

Analysts say Islamists could win 40 percent of assembly seats, with a big portion going to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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