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Hundreds injured in Tahrir clashes, Brotherhood in hot water
Twin protests in Tahrir Square descend into violence with hundreds injured by late afternoon; Brotherhood are widely blamed for the chaos although the group denies responsibility
Ahram Online, Friday 12 Oct 2012
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Tahrir Square
Protests in Tahrir Square turned violent as rival demonstrators repeatedly stoned each other (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Hundreds have been injured during clashes between rival protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, with pro and anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators locking horns.

Tensions were alleviated after the Brotherhood supporters started to leave by the afternoon. An Ahram Online reporter, however, said that two the Islamic group's empty buses were set alight.

Secular groups, who remain in the Square up till press time following the departure of the Brotherhood supporters, took to the square for 'Accountability Friday' primarily to demand a more representative Constituent Assembly.

On the other hand, the Brotherhood supporters, who came from different governerates, were there to condemn Wednesday's acquittal of former regime figures accused of orchestrating the Battle of the Camel during the Egyptian Revolution.

Omar Rashid, the ambulance field supervisor in Tahrir Square, confirmed to Ahram Online reporter that around a hundred had been hospitalised by late afternoon, mostly with head injuries. "Hundreds more suffered different injuries," he added.

A number of people were shot with pellets by unknown assailants on Talaat Harb Street, an Ahram Online correspondent at the scene reported, while Molotov cocktails and rocks were being thrown in both Mohamed Mahmoud Street and Talaat Harb Street near Tahrir Square.

Clashes began in the early afternoon when some protesters began chanting against the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi. They were attacked with stones in response and a stage belonging to Hamdeen Sabbahi's Popular Current was destroyed.

"Those who destroyed the stage are chanting for Morsi and beating up whoever chants against him," Mohamed Waked, a leading member of the National Front for Justice and Democracy, said via Twitter.

In an interview with ONTV Live satellite channel, Amin Iskander of the Popular Egyptian Current held the Muslim Brotherhood responsible for the clashes because it had called for a protest in Tahrir Square even though anti-Brotherhood groups had already planned a protest at the same venue.

"Our protest was planned a long time ago. Our demands were clear before the verdict of the Battle of the Camel took place. [The Brotherhood] made a mistake when it decided to hold a protest in Tahrir Square today," Iskander said.

Iskander also blamed the interior ministry for failing to protect peaceful protesters. Their decision to stay away from the square for the sake of "neutrality" had only benefited the Brotherhood, he said.

Security forces were absent from the square and the surrounding streets all day, an Ahram Online reporter confirmed.

"If Mubarak was a dictator, what is happening now means Morsi a "sacred' dictator," Iskander added.

The April 6 Youth Movement also condemned the Brotherhood and urged the group to control its members.

"The Muslim Brotherhood were firing pellets," leftist activist Kamal Khalil said. "They are trained militias; they are the one who initiated the fighting today."

Opposition journalist Hamdy Qandil called on the Muslim Brotherhood to remove its members from the square and claimed via Twitter that the actions of the Brotherhood on Friday would not have been attempted by the pre-revolution National Democratic Party.

The Muslim Brotherhood has strenuously denied responsibility for the clashes, claiming its members were not in the square before 4pm.

"Our members haven’t attacked anyone, the people fighting are supporters of the president," Brotherhood spokesperson Mahmoud Ghozlan said.

Essam El-Erian of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party said its members were told to gather at the High Court in downtown Cairo at 4pm.

"We are not involved in Tahrir clashes, and none of our members were there [during the afternoon]," the Brotherhood claimed on its official Twitter page.

Protests also took place in Suez to criticise the performance of President Morsi and in Alexandria to demand a more representative Constituent Assembly

Protests calling for similar demands took place in the Nile Delta cities of Mansoura and Al-Mahalla Al-Kobra, where anti-Brotherhood slogans were chanted.

The groups which initially announced they would be participating in the 'Accountability Friday' protest were: National Association for Change, Popular Egyptian Current, Constitution Party, Egyptian Social Democratic Party, April 6 Youth Movement, Democratic Movement, Democratic Revolutionary Alliance, Egyptian Socialist Party, Egyptian Communist Party, Socialist Popular Alliance Party, Tagammu Party, Workers and Peasants Party, Socialist Youth Union, Popular Democratic Movement, Mina Daniel Movement, Popular Revolutionary Movement, Justice and Freedom Movement and Peaceful Front for Change.

The Egyptian Democratic Workers Conference, an umbrella of number of independent trade unions established after the ouster of Mubarak in February 2011, also issued a statement of other demands related more specifically to workers rights, calling for a march to Tahrir Square at noon.





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mumby
13-10-2012 06:35pm
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What u see is tough evidence
What you see in reality life is tough evidence about the group or person. What people say about them could be true, could be not.Put the fist place of what you see.... So Brotherhood not just like Iran ...
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A.K.
13-10-2012 12:42pm
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The key to a true news story?
It is not WHO or WHEN, but WHY. Why Egyptians are fighting each other in the streets? No one will benefit from this mess except the enemies of Egypt. If the public wants to turn Egypt into another Syria or Iraq, this is what they are doing now. This is the quickestt way to destroy the country and the people while the leadership is watching!! Wake-up people and grow-up PLEASE. Think of your country before your personal interests; and check in your heart if you still love Egypt. My commnets are not aimed at any particular party or group.
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Mrwah Adly, Suez, Egypt
12-10-2012 11:43pm
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No Freedom Under Relgious Dictators
Look to the Islamic Republic of Iran and Afghanistan, Tunisia, Gasa, etc. Women lost their rights given by Islam. Brotherhood gang have agenda to shutdown tourism, divided the country, lose Sinai and turn the world against us for human right violation. No to dictorship and obressions. Thanks AO for your fair reproting and spreading the truth.
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1



Bakir, Pakistan
12-10-2012 08:02pm
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Islam will truianph
your site seems against the Brotherhood, right or wrong. You always side with the enemies of Islam. And if the showdown is between the Brotherhood and the remnants of the Mubarak regime, you are decidedly with the remnats.
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Abu Saif
12-10-2012 09:21pm
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Thanks God
Its another Jehadist Pakistan Sulifist please go shoot some more Bints in school buses
Tom Bird
12-10-2012 08:57pm
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Religion and Politics
Your post shows why politics and religion go together like water and oil. Your reasoning on why the Brotherhood is great is based a lot on why you think Islam is great. Furthermore, you take a criticism of the MB as a criticism of Islam, which makes the critic guilty of blasphemy (if the MB has its way). So hypothetically if the MB starts overreaching (which maybe more ground in reality that hyperbole), who are we to criticize the government without being labeled blasphemers?
Timmy
12-10-2012 08:50pm
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What the hell?
Dear person paid by the brotherhood to post, we know your tricks. This paper does not support old remenants the truth is the brotherhood attacked protestors today. Your games wont work anymore

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