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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.