Dec 17. - Nine are dead and hundreds more injured in Cairo after two days of bloody street battles as prime minister calls for calm. Jessica Gray reports.
Egyptian protesters flee with gunfire echoing loudly behind them as security forces wielding batons rush crowds in downtown Cairo. Nine are dead and hundreds more have been injured in bloody street battles over the last two days. Earlier, Prime Minister Kamal Al-ganzouri called for peace between the two sides. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) EGYPTIAN PRIME MINISTER, KAMAL ELGANZOURI "I ask all political forces and youth movements, men and women, all those who were born on Egyptian soil, to unite. Give the government, which fate made me its president, a chance until the end of January until security is restored and the production wheel starts moving again." He denied that security forces used violence in dealing with protests. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) EGYPTIAN PRIME MINISTER, KAMAL ELGANZOURI, SAYING: "I've said this before, we do not respond to any peaceful protests with any kind of violence even with the use of words, and I am committed to this." On Saturday, protesters attacked government buildings, setting many of them on fire. Demonstrators claim they were provoked after members of a sit-in were adbucted and beaten by authorities. The violence comes just days after the second round of Egypt parliamentary elections, touted as the first free polls in decades. Jessica Gray, Reuters