SCAF holds presser Thursday on Abbasiya violence as precarious truce prevails

Ahram Online, Thursday 3 May 2012

Egypt's ruling military council hosts press conference Thursday to discuss the country's political situation and Wednesday's bloody attack on a Ministry of Defence sit-in, which saw at least 7 protesters killed

Mohamed Hussein Tantawi
Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's ruling military council is holding a press conference Thursday to ‎discuss Wednesday morning's bloody clashes between unknown assailants and protesters staging a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Defence, which left over 7 demonstrators dead and tens injured.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is also set to discuss the current political situation in Egypt in the run up to the presidential elections.

The SCAF confirmed that they were not involved in the clashes and that ‎they would not break up the sit-in by force.

The flashpoint Abbasiya district is currently enjoying a degree of calm after the army announced that it had managed to stop the violent clashes that began early Wednesday near the defence ministry building in central Cairo.

Protesters responded with stones and set up makeshift field hospitals to treat the injuries which included gunshot wounds, broken limbs and suffocation due to inhaling teargas.‎

Unconfirmed reports coming from field hospital doctors put the death toll at 20, in the second attack on the protest in 72 hours. The first on Saturday, again by unknown groups, left one protester dead and tens injured.‎

Hundreds have been camping outside the Ministry of Defence for the past week. Demonstrators have been protesting against the disqualification of Salafist presidential contender Hazem Abu-Ismail, Article 28 of Constitutional Declaration and the military council's handling of the country since assuming power in February 2011.

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