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Wafd Party Cairo HQ attacked

(VIDEO) Witnesses describe those attacking liberal opposition party HQ as supporters of Hazem Abu-Ismail; Prominent Salafist leader denies any involvement, accuses media of unfairly accusing him

Ahram Online, Saturday 15 Dec 2012
Views: 2235

Some 500 supporters of prominent Salafist preacher and former presidential candidate Hazem Abu-Ismail attacked the headquarters of the opposition Wafd Party on Saturday night, according to Mohamed Tharwat, managing editor of Al-Wafd news website.

Tharwat told the Hayat television channel that attackers surrounded the building, located in Cairo's middle-class Dokki district and sprayed it with fireworks then destroyed cars parked outside the headquarters.

"They destroyed the windows at the building entrance, but didn't enter the building," he said. "Abu Ismail's supporters later clashed with Central Security Forces [CSF], who evacuated the area."

He added: "I hold President Mohamed Mori responsible for what the [Wafd] party has suffered."

Eyewitness Omar Said, an Egyptian reporter for Lebanon's Al-Safir newspaper, said that attackers broke into the building and beat up journalists and Wafd Party members.

As of 10pm local time, Said also said the assailants were still locking horns with the CSF in adjacent streets. "All the attackers are bearded," he told Ahram Online.

Abu-Ismail supporters, known as 'Hazemoun,' have been holding a sit-in at Egypt's Media Production City in Cairo's 6 October City district to protest alleged media bias against Islamist figures and groups in the run-up to Egypt's contentious constitutional referendum.

On several occasions, protesters have threatened to storm the premises of Media Production City if protesters opposed to President Mohamed Morsi's did the same to the presidential palace in Cairo.

Clashes erupted on 5 December between supporters and opponents of Morsi at the presidential palace, where an opposition sit-in was being held against Egypt's draft constitution, which critics say is "unrepresentative" of Egyptian society. They assert that the document was drafted by an Islamist-led Constituent Assembly that saw walkouts by church representatives, liberals, leftists and other non-Islamist members.

Ten people – from both sides – were killed in the ensuing violence, with both sides trading accusations of responsibility for the bloodshed.

Shortly after 10pm local time, however, Abu-Ismail vehemently denied that his supporters had attacked Wafd Party headquarters.

"I know nothing about any riots or any attempts to lay siege to any headquarters. Blaming me for this is a media farce. It's obvious that the media is targeting me," the one-time presidential hopeful declared on his Facebook page.

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16-12-2012 09:47am
be disipliner
Every dispute should be referred to authority security.That why Egyptian need to stay calm and respect law and order.
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16-12-2012 03:51am
Wafd Party Cairo HQ may have been attacked by their own member(s).
Who cares about tiny teeny Wafda party. The majority has no concern about this party. It make no sense anyone from governing party would do that. It must be either Wafad's own member(s) or the Copts who may have interest to create problems and agitation in referendum.
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16-12-2012 03:03am
tit fot tat
do you have copy right of burning ? till now you have burnt numbers of FJP buildings , and if you get hit you cry like babies , you acts like Israelis they have every right to attack and if pals attack they are branded terrorist, maybe you are taking orders from them
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16-12-2012 02:16am
Very suspicious media
It's very suspicious. This guy protests the media. Next thing we know we have a character assassination of him. We have "witnesses" who are these "witnesses" who "knew" they were his followers? And Almost every man in the world can grow a beard and it's not exclusive to anyone.
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Ranya Fouad
16-12-2012 12:05am
where were you when the Ikhwan's headquarters were set on fire?
why did Ahram on line not cover the torching of the Ikhwan offices. Why did it not quote Ikhwan officials who accused the traitors and Felul of committing these crimes?
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16-12-2012 12:02am
a crime is a crime is a crime
It is possible that the liberals and leftists did it in order to ignite the situation further. The Wafd party headquarter was attacked by the very same people who torched the headquarters of the brotherhood. You can't react gleefully and satisfactorily when the offices of the Ikhwan were torchered while shouting and crying out now. A crime is a crime is a crime.
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