Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Muslim Brotherhood's Militias in Action: A Firsthand Account

by Wael Eskandar

"The recent clashes at the Itihadiyya presidential palace leave little room for confusion. A day prior to these events, people took to the streets in Egypt’s largest cities to denounce the manner in which the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled presidency has been running the country. On Wednesday 5 December, everything changed. The Muslim Brotherhood reacted by calling on supporters of President Mohamed Morsi to march to the Itihadiyya palace, where an anti-Morsi sit-in was ongoing. Morsi’s supporters forced protesters out and destroyed their tents. A little past mid-afternoon all the demonstrators were kicked out and replaced by Morsi’s supporters....

Muslim Brotherhood supporters were attacking using rocks, shotguns, blanks, live ammunition, and teargas. Their push split the crowd into three main fronts, one on each side of three intersections, namely al-Khalifa al-Ma’moun Street, Mansheyet El Bakry Street and Roxy Square. Clashes continued in various places. I moved toward al-Khalifa Al-Ma’moun Street. The clashes continued on all fronts with Brotherhood supporters outnumbering protesters, showing signs of strong organization in their attacks, and possession of superior fire power......

Meanwhile, teargas was fired at anti-Morsi protesters from behind the Brotherhood’s lines. The police were present on the Brotherhood side of the clashes, but not the other.

The show of force, the disregard to opposition and the people, and the strong insistence on monopolizing power are strong indications that Muslim Brotherhood leaders do not intend to lend their ear to anyone but their own......"

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