Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Battle breaks out in Tahrir Square, once again

Security forces and demonstrators clash in Cairo after former interior minister's trial is put off without explanation

Jack Shenker in Cairo
The Guardian, Wednesday 29 June 2011

"Clashes between protesters and security forces engulfed Cairo once again on Tuesday night, as the fiercest street battles since the fall of Hosni Mubarak left dozens injured.

Fighting began after dark, following earlier protests by relatives of those killed during this spring's uprising.

Armed central security police showered Tahrir Square with tear gas canisters and fired bullets into the air as several thousand demonstrators amassed and called for the resignation of Egypt's de facto head of state, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.

Some members of the crowd tore up paving stones and threw them towards police lines.

The Guardian witnessed successive volleys of tear gas launched into the square and surrounding streets by government forces, including towards areas where ambulances had congregated to treat the wounded. Injured protesters, mostly with head wounds and gas inhalation, were carried to safety on the shoulders of fellow demonstrators.

"Mubarak was nothing – this is the revolution," said one man caught by tear gas.

The interior ministry blamed a group of "thugs" for the unrest [The same language used by the Pharaoh!]......

Protesters vociferously denied that suggestion, insisting that the police had attacked unarmed relatives of the martyrs – an account seemingly backed up by unverified videos posted on YouTube.

The violence came after the trial of the former interior minister, Habib al-Adly, on the charge of unlawfully killing pro-change protesters had been delayed by a judge this week, with no reason given to the public. "People are saying that we've replaced one Habib al-Adly with another," said Mostafa Hussein, a 30-year-old activist in Tahrir.

"They believe the interior ministry has returned to its former incarnation under the Mubarak regime."....."

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