March from Tahrir to military council HQ attacked in Abbasiya

Mustafa Ali and Salma El-Wardani, Sunday 24 Jul 2011

Clashes erupted again in Abbasiya, near the headquarters of the ruling military council, as political forces of the January 25 Revolution tried to reach the site to stage a protest


Abbasiya residents and alleged hired thugs have clashed with peaceful demonstrators in front of army roadblocks in the district.

According to Ahram Online reporters, the marchers were attacked from side streets and rooftops by people throwing stones, empty bottles and glass. The army fired shots in the air. Molotov cocktails were thrown. Rocks were then thrown from both sides. At least 145 people have been reported injured according to the ministry of health. The march was entirely peaceful before the attack began. 

The army and the military police blocked the main entrances to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) headquarters in Abbasiya. The protesters were trapped between alleged hired thugs, Abbasiya residents and army barricades.

Later, Central Security forces and military police arrived from the direction of Tahrir, but were unable to stop the attack on the protesters. Molotov cocktails continued to fly over the protesters, injuring dozens and burning parts of the street. One of the explosives hit a car parked in front of Al-Nour Mosque, but protesters were able to extinguish it before it exploded. 

Central security forces fired tear gas on protesters. 

The military police later opened Al-Nour Mosque to the protesters, where some of them regrouped before returning to Abbasiya square to chant slogans against the army. Others went back to Tahrir Square.

Thousands tried to march from Tahrir Square, where a two week long sit-in is ongoing, to the ruling military council headquarters on Saturday, decrying the still unmet demands of the sit-in. 

The military council issued a statement on Saturday blaming Friday evening clashes on the April 6 Movement, saying the groups took their orders from foreign interlopers. The accusation had the effect of strengthening earlier calls to march on SCAF on Saturday.

Some 28 political groups committed to the march on Saturday, both in defence of the April 6 Movement and in protest that the demands of the revolution have not been met.

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