News / Middle East

Hundreds Return to Cairo’s Tahrir Square After Bloody Clashes With Egyptian Military Police

A protester holds up a bloodied hand following an attack by security forces in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, April 9, 2011
A protester holds up a bloodied hand following an attack by security forces in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, April 9, 2011

Crowds of Egyptian protesters reoccupied parts of Cairo’s Tahrir Square Saturday, closing it to traffic after bloody skirmishes with Egyptian military police overnight. Conflicting reports say that at least two people died and 71 were injured in the violence.

Hundreds of protesters returned to Cairo’s Tahrir Square Saturday after violent clashes with military police overnight. The crowds gathered in numerous clusters, but were considerably smaller in size from Friday’s rally, which attracted tens of thousands and was the largest in Cairo in weeks.

Military police fired into the air in the wee hours of Saturday, apparently trying to disperse a crowd of mostly young protesters camped out in Tahrir Square. A young eyewitness named Amr Shawi describes what happened:

He said that at about 3:00 AM Egyptian time on Saturday, the army began to deploy, entering the square in large numbers from all directions, aided by military police in 12 armored vehicles. He said he was camped out in the middle of the square, facing the army. The protesters, he insists, were chanting "peaceful, peaceful," for a quarter of an hour when the army began firing automatic rifles into the air, using large quantities of ammunition. He claims that the army tried to seize several officers that had joined the protest camp, attacking, then killing three of them.

Another witness claimed that military police used a sword to kill a soldier who had joined the protesters. Several other soldiers inside the protest camp were wounded.

A statement by Egypt’s ruling Supreme Military Council claimed on Facebook that "elements of (former President Hosni Mubarak’s now dissolved) National Party were responsible for acts of violence."

Activists calling for the ouster of Egyptian Army commander Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi got into a shouting match with other activists Saturday during a press conference at Egypt’s Journalist’s Union. A union official accused some activists of trying to divide the army.

He argued that it is not in Egypt's interest to divide the army, insisting that the only institution that prevents Egypt from falling apart is the armed forces. He accuses another activist of using empty rhetoric, saying that only the guilty should be punished, not the entire army.

Amr Hamzawy of the Carnegie Foundation for Peace in the Middle East also addressed the gathering, insisting that activists should respect the rule of law.

He said that everyone should maintain self-control and respect the law. What took place, he insists, should first be investigated, before allowing the law to take its course and punish the guilty. He says that attempts to divide the army from the people come to the surface each time the noose tightens around former officials who are about to be punished.

Many protesters are demanding that former President Hosni Mubarak and other former officials be prosecuted for alleged wrong-doing and financial crimes. Mr. Mubarak and several former ministers are under house arrest and Egyptian prosecutors are investigating various allegations.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

ILO: Women Still Losing Out in Global Work Place

International Labor Organization says women are marginally better off now than they were 20 years ago More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More