News / Middle East

Tensions on Rise Among Egyptian Factions Following Clashes

Egyptian protesters shout slogans against the military rulers during their protest at Tahrir Square, the focal point of the recent Egyptian uprising, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, July 24, 2011.
Egyptian protesters shout slogans against the military rulers during their protest at Tahrir Square, the focal point of the recent Egyptian uprising, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, July 24, 2011.

Tensions among Egypt's many political factions are on the rise Sunday following Saturday's clashes between protesters and gangs of armed men that led Egyptian security forces to fire shots into the air in an effort to break up the violence.

The prominent youth-led April 6th Movement issued a statement Sunday saying that the "ugly face of the military" has appeared.  But the Gamma Islamiya political group blamed protesters for Saturday's confrontation and praised the military for showing restraint.

Saturday's unrest took place in Cairo as about 1,000 demonstrators were marching near the Defense Ministry to press their demands for political reforms.

Witnesses say the protesters were confronted by bands of men who began throwing bottles and stones. The demonstrators fought back.  Officials say at least 100 people were hurt in the clashes.  The April 6th Movement said as many as 230 were injured.

Activists, who say they are not satisfied with the pace of reforms, have continued their vigil in Cairo's Tahrir Square.  Some erected tents in the square two weeks ago and said they will stay put until their demands are met.

Demonstrators have urged military rulers to purge all officials who served under former President Hosni Mubarak from the government and prosecute those linked to violence and corruption.

Some protesters said this week's Cabinet reshuffle stopped short of meeting their demands. They wanted Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to replace the key interior and justice ministers, both of whom kept their posts.

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