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Egypt Activist Killed on Tahrir Square Protest Anniversary

Image: SPAP activist Sabbagh receives help after she was shot during a protest by the party in Cairo
Socialist Popular Alliance Party activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh receives help after she was shot during a protest Saturday in Cairo. AL YOUM AL SAABI / Reuters

A female activist who was shot dead in Cairo was among 18 people killed as Egypt marked Sunday's anniversary of the popular uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Shaimaa al-Sabbagh died of internal bleeding after being shot when police dispersed a demonstration on Saturday, Hisham Abdel Hamid, a spokesman for the Health Ministry's forensic department, told NBC News.

An image of her being carried away from the scene by fellow activists was widely shared on social media.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb said in a statement that an impartial investigation would find whoever killed Sabbagh, the state news agency reported. In further clashes Sunday at least 17 other people were killed and 35 mre were wounded.

In a scheduled televised address late Saturday evening, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi praised the desire for change that had sent Egyptians into the street four years ago but said it would take patience to achieve all of "the revolution's goals." While Sisi, a former army chief, has taken steps to improve Egypt's economy, human rights groups accuse him of restoring authoritarian rule to the most populous Arab state.

Activists have blamed police for the death of al-Sabbagh, a 32-year-old mother of one from Alexandria.

Her death marks the second killing of a female protester in recent days. Islamist Sondos Reda was shot dead during a protest Friday in Alexandria. Activists also blame the police for that death.

Image: Shaima al-Sabbagh
A recent handout picture made available by the family on January 24, shows Egyptian Shaima al-Sabbagh posing at her home in the costal city of Alexandria. Shaima al-Sabbagh, the mother of a five-year-old boy, was killed in clashes with Egyptian police during a rare leftwing protest in central Cairo on January 25, the eve of the anniversary of the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak, an official said. - / AFP - Getty Images
— Charlene Gubash and Alastair Jamieson

Reuters contributed to this report.