Cairo, Jan 28 (Agencies): Challenging the 30 year-rule of President Hosni Mubarak, pro-democracy leader Mohamed ElBaradei and his supporters joined the wave of protests in Egypt on Friday, as tens of thousands of anti-government protestors clashed with police in Cairo after noon prayers.  

It was major escalation at Ramsis square when thousands of protesters clashed with police as they left the al-Nur mosque after the prayers.

At the upscale Mohandiseen district, at least 10,000 of people were marching toward the city center chanting "down, down with Mubarak."

Police armed with batons beat some of ElBaradei's supporters, who surrounded him to protect him, and fired rubber bullets into the crowd and used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protestors outside a mosque in Giza square here on the fourth day of  demonstrations against 82-year-old Hosni Mubarak's nearly three-decade rule.

The violence since mass protests erupted on Tuesday has so far claimed seven lives.
      
As a fallout of protest movements, Internet and cell-phone services remained disrupted across Egypt as authorities used extreme measures to hamper protestors from organizing mass rallies.

The demonstrations are backed by both the country's biggest opposition group--the  Muslim Brotherhood—and ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace laureate and a former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, giving momentum to the protessts. ElBaradei returned to his  homeland last night from Austrial capital Vienna.

"It is a critical time in the life of Egypt. I have come  to participate with the Egyptian people," 68-year-old ElBaradei said before leaving Cairo airport after his arrival from Vienna.

At least five of its leaders and five former members of parliament had been arrested, said the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Thousands of black-clad riot police armed with batons and shields were deployed across the city, with the largest concentrations at Tahrir, or Liberation, Square at the heart of the city, where 10,000 protestors gathered for their first demonstration on Tuesday. Mubarak has not been seen in public or heard from directly since Tuesday.

The police, backed by armoured vehicles and fire engines fitted with water cannon, were also deployed in large numbers at Ramsis Square, another flashpoint in central Cairo.