Thousands Protest Mubarak Rule in Egypt

(Egypt protest article updated with information regarding restricted Twitter access.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sweeping protests in Egypt that began as passive marches throughout city streets grew violent as security forces responded to the massive crowds with rubber bullets, tear gas and water hoses.

Demonstrators took to the streets of Cairo to protest President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule over Egypt. Opposition leaders in Egypt declared Jan. 25 as a "Day of Rage" to protest the lack of political freedoms under Mubarak's reign.
Demonstrators deface a poster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Alexandria, Egypt.

Two Egyptian protesters were killed in an anti-government demonstration in Suez, Egypt, while a policeman died during a protest in Cairo on Tuesday, Reuters reports, citing an Egyptian Interior Ministry official.

Officials say one protester died as a result of tear gas inhalation while the other was killed by a rock thrown during the protest. The policeman who died in Cairo was also hit in the head by a rock.

Many of Tuesday's protests were organized and made public via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Demonstrators have taken to the Internet to post countless photos and videos showing the violence that has erupted in the streets of Egypt.

Reports claim that the Egyptian government has censored social media sites in order to thwart the attempts to publicize the protests in Cairo, Alexandria, and other Egyptian cities.

CNN's Ben Wedeman has reported that while cell phone relay towers were deactivated in several areas, access to Twitter has not been restricted.

However, the latest reports out of Egypt claim that the government has successfully restricted access to Twitter.

Twitter users in Egypt are saying that the social media site is blocked on all Internet Service Providers in the country, a representative of Harvard University's Herdict Web monitoring service told Reuters.

The Egyptian protests may have been fueled to some extent by demonstrations in Tunisia earlier this month, as some of the protesters waved Tunisian flags.

-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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