Jan. 30 - Clashes between protesters and police continued for a seventh day near Tahrir square in Cairo in the worst stretch of violence since President Mohamed Mursi took office last June. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Clashes between protesters and police continued for a seventh day near Tahrir square in Cairo on Wednesday (January 30). Two protesters were shot dead in the Egyptian capital earlier on Wednesday, raising the death toll to at least 54 in clashes in cities around Egypt, the deadliest violence since President Mohamed Mursi took office last June. The men, named as Ahmed Saad Eldin and Reda El-Refai, were hit by gunshots before dawn on the edge of Tahrir Square, a security source said, adding it was not clear who fired the shots. Police have fired volleys of teargas at stone throwing protesters in running battles on the streets near the square that was the focal point of the revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak two years ago. The latest surge of violence began on the eve of the second anniversary of the anti-Mubarak uprising, after large demonstrations were held to commemorate the occasion. Tensions spiked the next day, on January 26th, when a court condemned several residents of the city of Port Said to death for their part in the killing of 74 football fans one year ago. The city erupted into fighting between police and residents, with dozens killed in the following days. Opposition politician Mohamed ElBaradei said today that Egypt needed an urgent meeting between the president, other ruling officials, Islamist groups and the opposition to agree steps to end a wave of violence. One woman in Tahrir said that President Mursi was at fault for failing to govern Egypt properly. "We never wanted Mursi. We never knew him at all. He won presidency by force. We don't want him, we don't want him, we don't want him," said Sayeda. Mursi cancelled a planned visit to Paris this week as the political crisis flared in Egypt. The president was due to arrive in Paris on Thursday (January 31) afternoon following a visit to Berlin on Wednesday and later meet French President Francios Hollande over breakfast on Friday (February 1). Mursi's spokesman Yasser Ali said in Cairo that the president would reschedule a visit at another time. Cairo resident Reda Waleed said that Mursi has a difficult task ahead of him due to the legacy of long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak. "He inherited a corrupted regime. It takes a lot of time to fix a corrupted house, so it must take so much more to fix a corrupted country," he said. Mursi declared a month-long state of emergency on Monday (January 28) in three cities on the Suez Canal in response to the violent anti-government protests.