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Security forces kill 4 in morning attack on Tahrir, says doctor

Doctors at only remaining field hospital in Tahrir Square report seeing protesters shot and killed by gunshot wounds

Ahram Online, Ayman Farag, Tuesday 20 Dec 2011
Tahrir Square
A street vendor sells safety helmets in Tahrir Square in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
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Violent clashes between protesters and joint forces from the Egyptian Army and police re-erupted in Tahrir Square at the crack of dawn Tuesday, with four deaths reported.

Yamen El Genedy, a doctor at the Omar Makram Mosque field hospital, told Ahram Online that he saw four people admitted at 8 this morning. All of them had been shot dead. "The bullets had entered and exited their bodies, making it seem like the result of snipers. The force of the gunshots was very strong," said El Genedy. One of the deaths, he added, was a 19-year-old.

According to El Genedy, not all of those killed had been at the front line on Qasr El-Aini Street, with some shot in Tahrir Square.

Security forces tried and failed to evacuate Tahrir, the epicentre of the January 25 Revolution, after attacking demonstrators gathered there.

Both sides threw rocks at the other as they advanced and retreated.

Another field hospital doctor, Ahmed Saad, told AP that a 15-year-old protester was in critical condition after suffering a gunshot wound in the attack.

No deaths have been officially reported.

At some point, the security forces managed to force protesters back towards the Egyptian Museum.

Eventually, however, the soldiers regrouped at their position behind the concrete wall erected across El-Sheikh Rihan Street, which leads to the Ministry of Interior.

The Ministry of Health announced that 32 people were injured in the recent violence, four of whom were hospitalised. Ambulances, on standby throughout near the square, ferried the injured to nearby hospitals.

After the battle, protesters started to clean the square and street vendors re-emerged.

Bloody confrontations between protesters and military police broke out on Friday after a violent crackdown on a three-week sit-in outside the Cabinet office.

The official death toll is 12 since Friday.

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