EGYPT: 5,000 injured since unrest began, health minister says; protests continue
Around 5,000 people have been injured since the unrest in Egypt began, Egypt's health minister Ahmed Sameh Farid told the Al-Arabiya network Friday.
Tens of thousands joined the beaten and bandaged in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, Islam's day of prayer, for a political rally dubbed Day of Departure.
CNN reported that tensions remained high as midday prayers came to a close and Egyptians prepared for more demonstrations.
They chanted, "He leaves, we don't leave," a reference to President Hosni Mubarak, and “The blood of the martyrs will not be forgotten."
A massive banner in the middle of the square said in English: “The people demand the removal of the regime," CNN reported.
Egyptian soldiers, equipped with riot gear, surrounded the square, where an air of optimism returned -- people played music, sang patriotic songs and danced. Exhausted protesters slept on sidewalks inside the square.
Pro- and anti-Mubarak supporters have clashed repeatedly in Tahrir Square, leaving at least eight people dead, according to CNN and wire reports.
On Friday, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights called for a "transparent and impartial" probe into the cause of the violent clashes.
Defenders of Mubarak were notably absent from the square Friday.
The demonstrators gave the man who has ruled Egypt for three decades until the end of the day to relinquish power.
In Alexandria, thousands made their way from the city's central mosque down the wide seaside Corniche in the 11th day of Egypt's uprising, CNN reported.
“This is a great revolution and the whole regime, the entire system needs to be changed. The revolution must continue until all objectives are met,“ the mosque's imam told the crowd.
Roughly 35,000 people took to the streets Friday in the city of Suez, a spokesman for opposition leader Ayman Nour told CNN.
-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Photo: A man receives medical treatment in an emergency clinic. He was detained by anti-government protesters in Cairo as a suspected infiltrator and roughed up during the scuffle. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times