Military intervenes in attempt to end violence between government loyalists and anti-regime protesters in Cairo
Peter Beaumont and Jack Shenker in Cairo
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 3 February 2011
"The Egyptian army intervened this morning in a belated attempt to end the violence that flared overnight in central Cairo as supporters of President Hosni Mubarak attacked anti-government protesters.
A small group of soldiers cleared about 1,000 pro-government loyalists from a flyover in Tahrir Square, where they had been throwing stones at anti-government protesters below. It was not immediately clear if the steps were part of a wider decision for the army to begin protecting the demonstrations.
The intervention came as a retired Egyptian army general told the BBC the military was losing patience with the embattled Mubarak, and would open fire at regime loyalists if there were fresh attacks on protesters.
The general, who said he had spoken with tank crews in Tahrir Square, said he believed the military would move very soon against the president, possibly as soon as tomorrow.....
"We had over 1,000 injured through the night, including several dead from gunshots," said Dr Ibrahim Fata, a professor of surgery and one of more than 70 doctors who have volunteered to help treat those injured at the square. "It's like a war situation in here; some of the pro-change resistance did not bring their wounded to us because they didn't want to leave their positions. I haven't slept in the last day and a half."......
"Where have you been, this government is killing us," appealed Wael Abdel Aziz, a pharmacist camped out in Tahrir. A second man, who would give his name only as Osama, added: "Mubarak decided to kill the Egyptian people. He is treating us like insects, trying to crush us.""