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News Wrap: Egyptian Troops Use Violence to End Tahrir Square Sit-In

August 1, 2011 at 12:00 AM EDT
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KWAME HOLMAN: Egyptian troops used electrified clubs and fired shots into the air today to end a sit-in in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Several hundred protesters had camped there for several weeks, demanding faster political change. Clashes erupted after soldiers began dismantling the protesters’ tents. In the end, troops backed by armored vehicles and riot police cleared the entire square.

In Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan moved to tighten civilian control of the military, after four top commanders resigned on Friday. It was to protest the arrests of dozens of other generals allegedly involved in coup plots. Today, Erdogan opened a meeting of the country’s Supreme Military Council to discuss appointing new commanders. He also tried to show solidarity with the military, taking part in a traditional wreath-laying ceremony.

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, Turkish prime minister (through translator): I wish that the Military Council will be good and useful for our country and our public. And I respectfully remember our martyrs who died for the protection of our country. Rest in peace.

KWAME HOLMAN: The meeting of the Military Council will run for four days.

The International Red Cross has begun distributing food to more than 160,000 famine victims in south central Somalia. The announcement today marked the first large-scale relief effort there since the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, more Somali refugees streamed into neighboring Kenya for much-needed medical treatment and food. And U.N. officials warned the famine is still spreading.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.