News / Middle East

Egyptian Protesters Battle Police for Tahrir Square

Protesters hide behind a portion of a fence as police fire tear gas and throw stones back at protesters, who have been throwing stones at the police, near Tahrir Square in Cairo Egypt, November 20, 2011.
Protesters hide behind a portion of a fence as police fire tear gas and throw stones back at protesters, who have been throwing stones at the police, near Tahrir Square in Cairo Egypt, November 20, 2011.
Elizabeth Arrott

Egyptian police have been battling for control of Cairo’s Tahrir Square with protesters angry at the continuing role of the military in Egyptian politics.  Egyptian medics said Sunday a police and army assault on protesters killed at least nine people, raising the death toll in two days of unrest to at least 11. Hundreds more have been injured.

Protesters took to the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and beyond Sunday, battling security forces in some of the worst violence since the uprising in January and just over a week before parliamentary elections are set to begin.

“We will start our revolution again. It’s not finished yet. Understand? Not finished yet. Not the second [revolution].  The same revolution," said one protester.

Throughout the day, police fired tear gas and buckshot and, reportedly, rubber bullets, at stone-throwing protesters in the capital, as control of the square went back and forth.

While police initially led the charge, it is the military authorities - the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces - that has incurred the protesters’ wrath. They are furious at what they see as efforts by the SCAF to keep a hand in politics even under a civilian government as well as to place itself outside civilian oversight. “I just wanted to know why they do this. We came today and yesterday to ask for democracy and we don’t want the army to be over the people. I mean we make revolution to say no, we just need democracy," said another protester.

Elizabeth Arrott discuss the situation in Cairo and her close call with an angry crowd during a Skype chat with VOA's Carla Babb

In recent days the SCAF revised its position on the army’s future role. It now says what is known as the Selmi proposal is not binding.

The government held an emergency meeting Sunday evening to discuss the violence.  Authorities say elections, the first since the uprising, will go ahead as planned.  But some demonstrators fear the military rulers deliberately provoked the violence so that they could postpone the vote and prolong their tenure.

In any case, the drawn out process, more than three months for the parliamentary vote, up to a year to draft a new constitution, and only then a presidential election - had many in the crowd insisting the military step down now.  

The chants of the crowds - "the people demand the downfall of the regime" - echoed those of the uprising that brought the military to the fore, only this time, it is ex-President Hosni Mubarak's replacement they want out.

The violence began Saturday, as police moved in to clear Tahrir Square of a few hundred people camped out after an anti-government protest Friday. The crackdown has drawn thousands of people from across the capital to help counter the offensive.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid