Egypt's Health Ministry says 365 killed in unrest

Egypt's Health Ministry says 365 killed in unrest

Minister Ahmed Sameh Farid said it was only a preliminary count of civilians killed, and did not include police or prisoners. And while Mubarak is gone, frustration with the quality of life from working conditions to environmental concerns kept demonstrators in the streets as the economy falters.

Airport employees protested for better pay today, textile workers went on strike to demand a corruption investigation and residents of a Suez Canal city pressed for closing a chemical factory they say is dumping toxic waste into a lake. The ruling military council issued its second statement in three days calling for an immediate halt to all labour actions.

The new warning raised expectations of an outright ban on protests and strikes that could easily raise the tension level between authorities and the protest movement. "We urge citizens and members of professional and labour unions to go on with their jobs, each in their position," a text message sent to Egyptian cell phones from the military said.

So far, the warnings have been defied by people airing grievances everywhere over just about everything, from meagre wages to police brutality and corruption. One of the youth groups that helped organise the uprising tweeted today: "Strikes and protests should NOT stop." The group also promoted a planned march this Friday to Cairo's Tahrir Square, the democracy movement's key gathering point.

The council that took power from Mubarak as a result of the protests that began on January 25 says all the strikes and unrest are hampering efforts to salvage the economy and return the nation to normal life. Egypt's economy has been in virtual paralysis with the labour unrest, extended bank and stock market closures and an evaporation of tourism, a key source of income for the country.