CAIRO, JAN. 1 -- Egyptian riot police beat hundreds of demonstrators with night sticks to break up an anti-Israel march by Moslem fundamentalists and locked hundreds of others inside a Cairo mosque today.
Shops closed and people ran for shelter in nearby alleys as police drew their batons. Officers rushed panicky tourists shopping in a popular bazaar to their buses and escorted them out of the Azhar district.
The clashes erupted after Friday prayers at the Azhar mosque. Fundamentalist groups marched into the street to show support for Palestinians in Israeli-occupied territories, where Israeli troops have killed at least 22 Palestinians during violent protests in the past two weeks.
Egypt, the only Arab country to make peace with Israel, has repeatedly condemned the killings and said they had obstructed Mideast peace efforts.
Hundreds emerged chanting "Jerusalem will remain Islamic," waved copies of the Koran and recited the Moslem slogan: "There is no God but Allah."
Police immediately attacked them with batons and locked hundreds of others inside the 1,000-year-old mosque.
A police officer told a reporter to leave the district or face arrest. Police confiscated film from a Reuter photographer.
Police were seen holding at least six demonstrators at gunpoint before driving them away in a heavily guarded vehicle. Sixteen others were later arrested, and the protesters in the mosque were allowed to file out peacefully.
Police have allowed students to stage anti-Israel demonstrations on campus but have strictly banned street protests.