Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Egyptian military using 'more dangerous' teargas on Tahrir Square protesters

Doctors report seizures and convulsions as witnesses claim different crowd control teargas being used

Peter Beaumont and John Domokos, Wednesday 23 November 2011

"Egyptian security forces are believed to be using a powerful incapacitating gas against civilian protesters in Tahrir Square following multiple cases of unconsciousness and epileptic-like convulsions among those exposed.

The Guardian has collected video footage as well as witness accounts from doctors and victims who have offered strong evidence that at least two other crowd control gases have been used on demonstrators in addition to CS gas.

Suspicion has fallen on two other agents: CN gas, also known as Mace, which was the crowd control gas used by the US before CS was brought into use; and CR gas.

Some protesters report having seen canisters marked with the letters "CR" – although the Guardian has not been able to confirm this independently.

Both gases can be more dangerous than CS and can cause unconsciousness and seizures in certain circumstances......

"People have seen three different kinds of canisters. Most are marked CS but some have seen canisters marked with the letters CR and there is a third canister that has no markings at all."

According to Salah, gas also appeared to have been pumped into the square on Tuesday evening.

In a statement put out via Twitter, Ramez Reda Moustafa, a neurologist at Cairo's Ain Shams University, described seeing cases where exposure to gas had "caused extra-pyramidal symptoms [involuntary jerks in extremities and trunk mimicking a convulsive seizure, occulogyric crisis, etc] and little respiratory distress."

He added: "The type of gas used is still uncertain but it is certainly very acidic and is not the regular teargas used in January."....."

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