News / Africa

Demonstrators Attacked in Egypt's Tahrir Square

Egyptian army soldiers stand guard in Manshiyet Nasser shanty town in eastern Cairo, March 09, 2011
Egyptian army soldiers stand guard in Manshiyet Nasser shanty town in eastern Cairo, March 09, 2011

Multimedia

Attackers armed with knives and machetes have clashed with pro-democracy demonstrators in Cairo.

The incident took place on Wednesday in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the anti-government protests that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Television video from the square shows the two sides throwing rocks at each other. News reports say at least two people were injured.

The unrest erupted after hundreds of pro-democracy activists had gathered for a rally in the square. The French News Agency (AFP) says one activist described the attackers as "pro-Mubarak thugs."

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say the death toll from violent clashes on Tuesday between Muslims and Christians has risen to 13.

Officials say about 140 people were wounded in the unrest, which erupted during a demonstration in Cairo. At least 1,000 Christians had gathered to protest against the burning of a church in a Cairo suburb last week.

Witnesses say Christians and Muslims threw rocks at each other before riot police fired warning shots in an effort to break up the activists.

Video clip: Egypt clash

Egypt's military rulers promised Tuesday to rebuild the church and prosecute the Last week, Muslims set fire to a church following a conflict between two families, reportedly over a relationship between a Christian man and a Muslim woman.

Egypt's military rulers promised Tuesday to rebuild the church and prosecute the attackers. But Christians complain the military has been slow to move and reluctant to anger Muslims living in the community.

Even before Egypt's pro-democracy uprising, tensions had been growing between Christians and Muslims in the country.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.


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