Live Updates: Egypt's police forcibly disperses protesters from Tahrir, incites more activists to join and resist

Ahmed Feteha, Sherif Tarek, Saturday 19 Nov 2011

Thousand of activists keep descending onto Tahrir Square to overwhelm police who bombarded a small group of protesters with tear gas this morning: each side escalated in numbers and police escalated with violence

Egyptian riot police clash with protesters at Tahrir Square in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Clashes in Tahrir Square between protesters and Central Security Forces (CSF) are taken to the next level...



Injured toll rises to 509 Egyptians after police storm protesters in Tahrir Square.



Some protesters are attempting to storm the Interior Ministry headquarters but are kept at bay by police, who are firing rubber bullets to repel them.



Mohamed El-Beltagi, one of the secretary generals of the Freedom and Justice Party — the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood — has said he will head to Tahrir Square to support the right of peaceful protest and stand against the forceful dispersal of sit-ins. He also called on police and protesters alike not to escalate tensions.



State TV has reported that the police have arrested 18 people in Tahrir Square so far. The clashes are still ongoing.



Casualties have soared to 213, according to Ministry of Health spokesperson Mohamed El-Sherbini. He reiterated that most of those hospitalised were suffering from the effects of tear gas.



Independent daily Shorouk News: Security forces attacking thousands of protesters on Qasr El-Aini Bridge with tear gas.



Security forces withdraw from Tahrir Square. Protesters pour back into the square.



Tens of protesters gather in front of the Sidi Gaber military base in Alexandria in solidarity with Tahrir protesters.


UltrasAhlawyfootball fans have arrived, cheered by the demonstrators, and are attempting to retake the square.


The assistant to the minister of interior, general Sami Sidhom, speaking to Al-Jazeera called the events "chaos, not activism. The actual revolutionaries left the square yesterday. Those who are currently there, are instigators [implying that they are paid or thugs] sent to create problems."



Protesters are taking the offensive from the Kasr El-Eini thoroughfare as well as another flank, from the Cairo Museum, to re-occupy the central island of Tahrir Square, which is surrounded and completely controlled by security forces.

More clashes are erupting in Talaat Harb, one of the centres where protesters were regrouping.

Plain-clothed men are throwing stones and attacking protesters.

The head of security forces describes the events as protesters "trying to creat rifts."

An Ahram Online reporter was beaten.

Latest officials figures on injured in hospital rises to 81.


Tahrir Metro station is penetrating the tunnel, with many passengers fainting.

Metro conductors stationed themselves to try to get as many people as they can at one time who are fleeing.


Ministry of Health states 27 have been hospitalised.

Many more have been injured and treated within the square, but refuse to be taken to a hospital.


Central Security Forces are now completely occupying Tahrir Square. Protesters have retreated to the Omar Makram Mosque, on the other corner of the square.

Protesters are now retreating to the Nile River side and regrouping in surrounding areas.

Rubber bullets are in heavy use, causing many facial injuries.


Tear-gasing is so heavy it forces protesters to retreat out of the side streets that empty out into Tahrir and crowd the protesters into center, but in front of the Mogamma government administration building.


Security police reinforcements have arrived.

Police are shooting from armoured vehicles many many rounds of tear gas as they continue trekking down the street, pushing the crowds of protesters out.


Up to 400 Central Security policemen are deployed in El-Kasr El-Eini thoroughfare, which leads to Tahrir Square.

Meanwhile, protesters keep arriving, in solidarity, and now stand at a few thousand.

An Ahram Online journalist says the police look ready to attack the protesters. Some security personnel claims more reinforcements are on the way.

Paramedics say that most of the injured are suffocated from tear gas.


Protesters set fire to a huge trash bin, producing a black cloud of smoke. They attempt to send it off in the direction of the police to keep them at bay.

Ahram Online journalist describes seeing a man shot by police, and when he went to extract the projectile discovered it was metal; meaning it could be live ammunition.

A blue, police armoured van stands in Tahrir, which the crowd has surrounded and have set it on fire.

Another similar van was launching tear gas.


Police forces throw tear gas to disperse the enraged crowd.

Gunfire has been resounding in the epicentre of the revolution, as well.

After hearing reports that demonstrators have been attacked, more activists have entered the square, swelling the demonstrators' numbers to now 2,000. They reply to police attacks in kind, by hurling stones and other projectiles towards the CSF. In a new development: protesters are hurling molotov cocktails.

There are also clashes in El-Kasr El-Eini, a major thoroughfare, and Mohamed Mahmoud Street, both leading to Tahrir.

Dozens of people have sustained varied injuries in the bloody confrontations as a makeshift clinic was set up in front of Mogamma, Egypt’s largest administrative building, to treat the wounded.

The number of casualties is expected to soar as the situation is heating up. A couple of ambulances have entered the square to whisk the injured out.

Earlier this morning, Central Security Forces forcibly dispersed the few demonstrators who remained in Tahrir Square following yesterday’s Friday of One Demand mass protest.

Riot police dismantled the few tents left over from yesterday and have reportedly arrested several activists in the process to completely evacuate the square.

Several people were reportedly injured and arrested in the process.

After the police attacks, the protesters – who were joined by others – returned to the central island as the CSF withdrew from Tahrir.

Later, demonstrators pelted six CSF blue vans with stones as they left the Ministry of Interior’s headquarters, crossing through Tahrir, who are still adamant to occupy the central island.

Soon after, one of the protesters managed to hijack a van (it cannot be confirmed if it was one of the six vans) and drove it back to his comrades, who all took out their frustration on the huge vehicle.

The police eventually resorted to tear gas in an attempt to evacuate Tahrir Square.

Most of the political forces that took part in Friday’s demonstration opted not to stage a sit-in at Tahrir, leaving defenceless a handful of protesters – who decided otherwise – against police in the epicentre of the January 25 Revolution.

Approximately 50 demonstrators, who described themselves  as the "revolution's injured alliance,” staged a sit-in next to Tahrir Square to protest continued military rule in Egypt and demand the implementation of longstanding revolutionary demands.

The ongoing tensions in Tahrir is widely expected to cause the already-tarnished relationship between the police and citizens to take a turn for the worse.

The clashes closed off traffic through the central Tahrir Square, causing mass traffic jams elsewhere in Cairo.

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