Middle East

Egyptians Rally For Faster Steps Toward Democracy

An Egyptian man dances with a national flag as he protests for a second day in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt. What appeared an unstoppable groundswell for change across the Middle East earlier this year, has splintered into scattered and indecisive conflicts that have left thousands dead and Western policy makers juggling roles ranging from NATO airstrikes in Libya to worried bystanders in Syria and Yemen.

An Egyptian man dances with a national flag as he protests for a second day in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt. What appeared an unstoppable groundswell for change across the Middle East earlier this year, has splintered into scattered and indecisive conflicts that have left thousands dead and Western policy makers juggling roles ranging from NATO airstrikes in Libya to worried bystanders in Syria and Yemen.

CAIRO-- Thousands of Egyptians are rallying in Cairo to press the country's military rulers to take faster steps toward democracy and to prosecute those behind the killing of hundreds of protesters during the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February.

Activists are calling the protests in Tahrir Square the "Friday of Last Warning," but the gathering is drawing smaller crowds than those in previous weeks.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's best organized political group, did not attend. Summer heat and worries that too much protesting will lead to disorder might have kept others away.

A small group of hardcore activists has been camped out in the square for a week and traffic has been cut off through the central artery of downtown for days.