Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Cairo protesters clash with troops | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

CAIRO, (AFP) — Egyptian soldiers charged at protesters outside the cabinet’s offices on Friday, breaking up a sit-in after the demonstrators threw petrol bombs and set fire to furniture in front of the nearby parliament.

Several people were wounded, and soldiers arrested at least one protester in the worst violence in Cairo since five days of bloody protests in November killed more than 40 people.

The clashes, which had raged since dawn, started after a bloodied protester said he had been arrested by soldiers and beaten up, infuriating his comrades who began throwing stones at the soldiers, witnesses said.

The troops responded by firing shots in the air and using water cannon, before throwing stones back at the protesters from the roof of the nearby parliament building, he added.

Protesters threw petrol bombs as the clashes continued and torched furniture outside parliament, AFP correspondents reported.

Military police later moved in to disperse the protesters, who had been holding a sit-in outside the cabinets offices since November 25.

Soldiers arrested at least one protester, a woman, as they pushed back the demonstrators from the cabinet building, an AFP correspondent said.

Mona Seif, an activist against military trials of civilians, said soldiers also threw chairs at the protesters from parliament’s roof.

She said she accompanied injured demonstrators to a nearby hospital, where at least one received treatment for a birdshot wound.

Seif, a leading dissident, later wrote on her Twitter account that she was being arrested. Her mobile phone was then switched off.

The protesters have been camped outside the cabinet’s offices since November 25, when they branched off from larger demonstrations in nearby Tahrir Square.

They objected to the military’s appointment of a new prime minister, calling on the ruling generals to fully transfer power to a civilian government.

The military, in charge since president Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow in February, has said it will step down once a president is elected by the end of June next year.