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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs