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Street fights rage on near Cairo's US embassy
As embassy protests turn violent, Egyptian security forces resort to teargas and bird-shot to force crowds towards Tahrir Square
Bassem Abo Alabass, Thursday 13 Sep 2012
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Clashes erupted on the edge of Cairo's Tahrir Square Thursday morning and continued into the afternoon as security forces attempted to drive protesters away from the nearby US embassy.

Protesters gathered at the embassy on Tuesday to condemn an anti-Islam film, The Innocence of Muslims, which gravely insults the Prophet Mohamed.

The protest turned violent on Wednesday evening and continued into early Thursday with exchanges of rocks, teargas and Molotov cocktails, along with chants of "The police are thugs."

By Thursday afternoon, most of the fighting was confined to the edge of Tahrir Square near the Omar Makram Mosque and Simon Bolivar Square.

Tahrir Square teemed with traffic as the fighting spilled over from the area around the embassy.

Despite the turbulence, two buses arrived on the other side of the square bringing foreign tourists to the Egyptian Museum.

Hundreds of security forces occupied Simon Bolivar Square adjacent to the US embassy, blocking off all the roads surrounding the area with police lines. Injured and unconscious officers were seen being carried by their colleagues away from the scene.

Security forces used teargas and shotguns loaded with bird shot to disperse the crowds and occasionally would charge at protesters in armoured vehicles, mounting the pavement at times. Few ambulances could be seen in the area.

Yassin Maher, 22, a day worker holding stones in his hands, told Ahram Online that he had just been released after serving an 18-month jail term and was protesting to demand better living conditions from Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

"As you can see, the security forces under Morsi are the same as those during the Mubarak era – both are defending America," Maher said.

"Of course, I'm also protesting against the insults to our Prophet Mohamed," added Maher.

Nasser Hassan, 30, a member of the Salafist Nour Party, said that he completely condemned both the violent protests and the heavy-handed response of the security forces.

"We delivered a message expressing our outrage [about the anti-Islam film] outside the embassy on Tuesday by chanting the name of the prophet, and that's enough," Hassan said.

"All Egyptians condemn this defamatory film and large groups of Christians have also announced that they would demonstrate on Friday in solidarity with the Muslims," he added.

Hassan went on to note that he had gone to the embassy on Thursday to urge his fellow Salafists to withdraw from the protest.

A Syrian man who was waiting to renew his visa at Tahrir Square's iconic Mugamma building, said, preferring anonymity: "This chaos is what the Americans want, but we trust President Morsi, who knows how to deal with them."

Additional reporting and video footage by Bel Trew





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HASIM
14-09-2012 12:05am
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WASTED
agreed that this impoverishment placed on Egypt by it so call leaders and clerics who on radio and tv encourage hate against minorities jews and anyone who doesnt beleave like them thank god my daughters live now in a country were not perfect can enjoy life and peace . not this rot thrown by cleric and tribal garbage.
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6



him
13-09-2012 10:35pm
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3+
outta the game
All i gotta say as an Egyptian is, I'm glad I'm not muslim anymore. Streets filled with garbage, apartment buildings falling down killing families and water shortages are ok...but its not ok for some nobody in another country to make fun of another nobody who died 1,400 years ago?? I'm glad this is happening, nothing can prove more how violent and tribal religion truly is, destroying everything that is good and true.
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5



Bab El-lou2!
13-09-2012 09:51pm
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Da kan yom zift!
This film was made for no other reason than to insult Muslims and inflame the ideological differences between those who practice Islam and those who don't; those who consider 'freedom of expression' an inviolable right and those for whom denigration of their beliefs is something untouchable. Only a fool would parrot the validity of purposefully hateful work under the banner of the 'human right to free expression'. Mind you, only an idiot would proscribe death and vengeance because their beliefs had been offended, however fundamental or faithfully they are held. This entire farce is an exercise in divide and rule, with the rather nifty byproduct of releasing a great deal of pent up anger and disillusionment in the 'Arab World'. The wise will shake the dust from their feet and move on; the lunatics will try to take over the asylum.
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4



Mark Croy
13-09-2012 09:33pm
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Flirting with disaster
The Black Flag will bring only death and despair to Egypt and rule by "Soccer Club Mobs" is not democracy. The President must establish order in his country. He must put a chain on the Salafitards intent on destabilizing Egypt. The Brotherhood's enemies are from the Right not from the Left. Join with the liberal society in Egypt and fight back against those wishing for another thousand years of darkness!
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3



expat
13-09-2012 07:47pm
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3+
a revolution lost....
this is the typical scene of a occupied peoples will revolution,which never was intellectuel independent... the khoran prohibits your part of the world to use common sense what about aisha? expat
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2



Kevin
13-09-2012 07:20pm
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No Democracy for Muslims...
Getting violent over this film should never give anyone the "right" to rape, murder, and pillage. If you don't believe in freedom of expression, and freedom of speech, you will never live in a REAL democracy, nor do you deserve to live in one. No nation dominated by Muslims will EVER experience a democracy.
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1



umish
13-09-2012 07:09pm
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Stupidity
UPDATE: Sept. 13, 11:34 a.m. -- The Associated Press has identified Californian Nakoula Basseley Nakoula as the man behind the anti-Muslim film that's been the target of protests across the Middle East. The AP says its source for the information is an official in U.S. law enforcement who "spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation." In earlier interviews, Nakoula said he was the manager of the company that made the film but did not say he was the actual filmmaker. He identified himself as a Coptic Christian and said that the film's director supported concerns about the treatment of the Copts by Muslims. He also denied posing as Sam Bacile, the mysterious man whom initial reports on Tuesday quoted and identified as an Israeli Jewish filmmaker, but AP reports that telephone numbers for Bacile and Nakoula trace to the same address. Questions remain as to why Bacile, who was interviewed by the AP and the Wall Street Journal, said
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