Egyptians poured into Tahrir Square on Wednesday to mark one year since the launch of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, with activists vowing to revive revolution and the ruling army labelling it a day of celebration. Thousands of Islamists, liberals, leftists and citizens packed the Square, epicentre of protests that ousted Mr. Mubarak, waving flags and bearing banners reflecting the day's varying messages.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which dominates Parliament, was there to celebrate the anniversary.

But other groups, including pro-democracy movements behind the revolt, insisted they were to demand the ouster of the military council that took over when Mr. Mubarak quit.

Several marches set off for Tahrir from different parts of Cairo, with the chant of “Down with military rule!” ringing across the capital.

Thousands also packed a waterfront square in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, where the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), headed by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, had planned a naval parade.

In the canal city of Suez, around 5,000 protesters gathered in the main square chanting: “From Suez to Tahrir, down with the Field Marshal.”

“This is a demonstration, not a celebration,” said Mustafa al-Masry, one of the leaders of a Suez-based revolutionary group.

“The military council has done nothing. They are behaving just like the old regime. We have not received our rights and the country is a mess,” she said. On Tuesday, Field Marshal Tantawi announced the partial lifting of a hated decades-old emergency law,

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