CAIRO - A prominent Egyptian blogger accused of attacking soldiers during deadly clashes was released Sunday after nearly two months in detention, during which he became a symbol of the pro-democracy activists' struggle to end military rule.
Alaa Abdel-Fattah's first stop after he was freed was Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the uprising that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak in February. The square remains the focus of the campaign against the military, which took power in Egypt after Mubarak's ouster.
Abdel-Fattah was accused of inciting violence and other offenses during clashes that killed 27 people Oct. 9, but he was never formally charged. He was arrested Oct. 30.
The arrest raised tensions between the activists who engineered Mubarak's ouster and generals led by Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak's defense minister for about 20 years.
Relations have since steadily worsened. Clashes between protesters and security forces have killed more than 100 since Mubarak's ouster.
"We need to end military rule," Abdel-Fattah said outside Cairo's police headquarters moments after his release. His remarks were carried on Al-Jazeera TV. "We cannot just celebrate my innocence. . . . We have not gone after the real criminals who killed people."
A small crowd of supporters behind him chanted, "The people want the fall of the field marshal," referring to Tantawi.
Members of an advisory council set up by the military say the generals are prepared to look into proposals to move up the date for their transfer of power to a civilian administration. According to the military's timetable, the generals would step down after presidential elections are held before the end of June.
Abdel-Fattah, a leader of the 18-day uprising that ousted Mubarak, launched a blog years ago organizing opposition to Mubarak. He was detained for six weeks in 2006. No reasons were given for Abdel-Fattah's release Sunday.