Cairo: Police on Wednesday fired tear gas at hundreds of stone-throwing youth in the Egyptian capital after a night of clashes that left more than 1,000 people injured.
The violence began after families of people killed in the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February held an event in a Cairo suburb late on Tuesday in their honour.
Other bereaved relatives arrived to complain that names of their own dead were not mentioned at the ceremony, sparking clashes that gravitated to the capital's central Tahrir Square and the Interior Ministry, according to officials.
It was the first such violence in weeks in Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the revolt that toppled Mubarak on February 11. Some 1,036 people were injured, among them at least 40 policemen, according to the Health Ministry.
Early in the morning young men, many stripped to the waist, were still hurling stones at police near the ministry as commuters went to work.
Ordinary Egyptians said those involved were bent on battling police rather than protesting. To others, the violence seemed politically motivated.
"The people are angry that the court cases against top officials keep getting delayed," said Ahmad Abdul Hamid, 26, a bakery employee who was at the scene overnight, referring to senior political figures from the discredited Mub-arak era.
By early afternoon, eight ambulances were in Tahrir and the police had left the square. Dozens of adolescent boys blocked traffic from entering the square, using stones and scrap metal.
Some drove mopeds in circles around the square making skids and angering bystanders. "Thugs, thugs... The square is controlled by thugs," an old man chanted.
Some people still gathered in Tahrir said they were angered by the way the police handled the crowd overnight.
"I am here today because I heard about the violent treatment of the police to the protesters last night," said Magdy Ebrahim, 28, an accountant.