Violent Clashes in Tahrir Square

Not good:

Clashes are continuing between Egyptian security forces and more than 5,000 protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, leaving more than 590 injured, according to witnesses and medical officials.

Tahrir Square, the epicenter of protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s former president, remained sealed off early on Wednesday as lines of security forces in riot gear strived to regain control from demonstrators.

Witnesses said the clashes started on Tuesday when police tried to clear a sit-in at the state-TV building, which included families of those killed during the country’s revolution earlier this year, known as the “martyrs”, according to the Daily News, an Egyptian news website.

Witnesses said police showed up and attacked the families outside the Balloon Theatre in Agouza, where a planned memorial service for the families was taken place.

The ministry of interior said in a statement on Tuesday that “people who claimed to be families of martyrs, tried to break into the theatre” in which the service was held.

Al Jazeera correspondent in Cairo Ayman Mohyeldin said: “The original dispute happened between families of the martyrs of the revolution as they were trying to attend an event [and were denied access].

“At that point there were clashes between police and some of those family members that ultimately spilled over to other parts of the city.

“The protest gained momentum and made its way into Tahrir Square, and ultimately to the interior ministry,” he said.

Rocks and shattered glass littered the streets around Tahrir, as protesters chanted: “Down with the military junta.”

Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has said that he ordered the police to withdraw from Tahrir Square to reduce tension.

He also added that the performance of the police had been improving, and that some people may not be happy with the gradual return of police and security. But he “urged the youth to protect their revolution.”

Our correspondent in Cairo said that police had been aggressive in pushing the crowd back.

Looks like the new Egypt is a lot like the old Egypt. Keep in mind what took place during the “revolution” was a military coup and thus far, there is no evidence that this is anything other than essentially a continuation of military dictatorship, just without Mubarak. And that is NOT the fault of the Egyptian people.

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About Stacy

Attorney, Publisher, Foreign Policy wonk

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2 Comments on “Violent Clashes in Tahrir Square”

  1. tovah8 Says:

    I feel bad for the people of Egypt- I don’t know how they take on the military-industrial complex their which is heavily supported by the U.S. and Europe. People have been saying that the military won’t want to give up control of the country and all the monetary perks that goes along with it. It would be helpful if the media and commentators would remind people of what you said- that at this stage it’s still a military dictatorship. I know things don’t change overnight but it’s hard to see how the average Egyptian will be able to get control from the military. What happened with El Baradei? We haven’t heard much from him lately. He should run for President of Egypt.


  2. Carolyn-Rodham Says:

    Come to think of it, we hear very little about the Arab Spring-into-Summer from our State Department or Obama adminstration (at least, not since his speech during Bibi’s visit). Be nice to think someone at State is keeping tabs on the “big picture” in the Middle East. Or maybe our marching orders from Israel are to turn a blind eye as things slowly settle back to how they used to be — with a different cast of characters.


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