Update: One reported dead as police fire tear gas, birdshot at protesters

Update: One reported dead as police fire tear gas, birdshot at protesters

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Wed, 30/01/2013 - 10:48

Clashes renewed between police and dozens of protesters on Wednesday morning in Simon Bolivar Square behind the Semiramis hotel, which is within walking distance of the US Embassy.

A young man was reported killed Wednesday afternoon after being hit with birdshot on Qasr al-Nil Bridge, making him the second person killed in Cairo since violence began Thursday evening. State-run news agency MENA reported that his body was taken to Qasr al-Aini Hospital and authorities ordered an investigation into the killing.

Earlier in the day, an armored police vehicle pushed the protesters back toward Omar Makram Mosque at the entry to Tahrir Square and security forces fired birdshot and tear gas, injuring some of the protesters.

Wednesday is the seventh day of unrest since protests marking the 25 January 2011 uprising began on Thursday night. More than 50 people have been killed in clashes between security and protesters, primarily in the Suez Canal Zone governorates and in Cairo.

People on motorbikes took the wounded to ambulances stationed on Talaat Harb Street for treatment.

The 6th October and Qasr al-Nil bridges as well as the Corniche were open to traffic Wednesday morning, while Tahrir Square remained closed.

At least 50 people have been killed in the violence since last week, according to the Health Ministry, and well over 1,000 have been injured.

Security forces erected a concrete barrier around the Semiramis and Shepheard hotels in the wake of frequent attacks on their downtown premises in recent days, MENA reported.

InterContinental Hotels Group, the owner of the InterContinental Cairo Semiramis located on Simon Bolivar Square, said on Tuesday that it had transferred its guests to other hotels away from the site of clashes and criticized security for failing to prevent masked men from breaking into the hotel.

On Tuesday, the hotel had called for help on Twitter, saying thugs were attempting to storm its premises on the Corniche. Sameh Sobhy, the hotel manager, said employees put out a fire that started on the first floor amid the violence. In statements to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Sobhy said the Interior Ministry should provide security services for hotels along the Corniche due to ongoing unrest in the area.