Thousands of women marched in central Cairo on Tuesday to protest violence against demonstrators by Egyptian police and soldiers during five days of deadly clashes with protesters demanding that the country's ruling military relinquish power, dpa reported.
Men formed a human chain around some 3,000 women, who chanted slogans condemning the violence. More than 14 civilians have been killed during five days of renewed clashes that US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton described as "particularly shocking."
Activists have been circulating pictures and video footage showing troops using live bullets against some protesters and beating others, including women. One picture showed soldiers dragging a woman on the street, stripping her half naked and beating her.
Clashes began on Friday when soldiers and police tried to disperse a group of protesters staging a sit-in outside government offices.
The ruling military has blamed protesters for the violence, saying it had to intervene to protect public and private property. It has accused the protesters of planning to storm government buildings.
Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders complained of a "systematic use of violence" against journalists covering the latest events, the most deadly since last month, when more than 40 people were killed.
The violence has tarnished the image of the military, which was praised by pro-democracy activists for siding with the protesters that forced former president Hosny Mubarak to step down in February. Protesters are now demanding that the ruling military council hand over power to a civilian administration.