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Protests flare after Mubarak cleared of Arab Spring deaths

Ex-president cleared of protester killings on a technicality

STUDENT protests erupted in universities across Egypt today over a court decision to dismiss charges against former president Hosni Mubarak.

The ex-president had faced charges over the killing of protesters in the 2011 uprising against him.

And the anger flared after the death of demonstrators at an earlier protest.

Two people were killed in Cairo on Saturday as security forces used tear gas and water cannon to clear thousands of protesters from the streets of the Egyptian capital.

More than 3,000 young people had protested against the verdict near Cairo's Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the 2011 uprising, which was closed off by soldiers and police.

In the evening, police broke up the gathering, firing water cannon and tear gas and driving protesters into side streets after supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood appeared on the streets.

The Interior Ministry claimed that Brotherhood supporters had pelted security forces with rocks and fought with the protesters.

Security officials said police had arrested at least 29 people.

And today, growing crowds of students again gathered at Cairo University to protest against the verdict and Saturday's killings.

Thousands of students joined similar protests at the University of Alexandria and their colleagues also protested at Al-Azhar University and Zagazig University.

Today's demonstrations were generally peaceful but news reports said that at least 11 students had been arrested by security forces.

In the ruling that freed Mr Mubarak, Judge Mahmoud al-Rashidi claimed that the case against him was "inadmissible" due to a technicality.

He said that Mr Mubarak's May 2011 referral to trial by prosecutors ignored an "implicit" decision that no criminal charges be filed against him when his security chief and six of his top aides were referred to trial without him two months earlier.

Nearly 170 police officers and security officials put on trial in connection with the killings have either been acquitted for lack of evidence or found to have acted in self-defence. Some received short suspended sentences.


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