An injured protester, center, is aided by others during short clashes with Egyptian security forces, not pictured, near Tahrir square Saturday (Photo: AP)
Chaos erupted this morning in El-Qasr El-Aini thoroughfare after around six Central Security Forces vans approached a thousand-strong demonstration in front of the cabinet office, protesting the military council’s decision to appoint Kamal El-Ganzouri as the new prime minister.
Clashes reportedly broke out between protesters and Central Security Forces (CSF) as a young man named Ahmed Sayed Sorour, one of those taking part in the sit-in, was run over by a huge blue CSF van.
Media reports that Sorour, who appeared heavily bleeding in a youtube video, is confirmed dead.
Reportedly, the demonstrators told the police to leave in case demonstrators clash with them. The van drivers held their places until they called in for orders.
According to eyewitnesses from the sit-in, the police forces fired a couple of tear gas canisters after protesters at the cabinet hurled stones at the vans, forcing them to chaotically retreat.
While speaking to Al-Jazeera, a couple of eye witnesses say the police did not appear to have the intention to attack the sit-in.
“Actually, they did not know there was a sit-in,” one of the eyewitnesses said. “We heard an officer speaking on the radio saying that he did not know there were protesters in the street and that he would leave because he did not want to clash with them.
“But after protesters hurled stones at them they started to fire tear gas canisters and the scene became chaotic.”
The police forces fired a couple of tear gas canisters at the sit-in, causing around 15 protesters to lose consciousness.
The injured were taken to field hospitals in Tahrir Square, the site of a massive demonstration calling for an immediate end of the military junta's rule and the appointment of a national salvation government, led by presidential hopeful Mohamed ElBaradei.
An eyewitness told Ahram’s Arabic portal that a police vehicle hit the victim and drove off, leaving him bleeding.
Reportedly, another protester was injured by a live round shot by the police.
Protesters converged on the cabinet building near Cairo’s Tahrir yesterday, not only to denounce El-Ganzouri’s appointment, but also to prevent him from entering the premises.
El-Ganzouri’s appointment has been largely rejected by post-revolutionary forces from across the political spectrum.
Critics say the 78-year-old El-Ganzouri, who was previously appointed as prime minister from 1996 to 1999 under ousted president Hosni Mubarak, is too old to relate to revolutionaries or with Egypt's largely young population. Mostly, however, he is rejected for his close association to the former regime.
Some anti-SCAF activists, meanwhile, insist that whoever occupies the post of prime minister is insignificant as long as the military council remains in power.
The current interim government, under Prime Minister Sharaf is expected to remain in office until El-Ganzouri’s new cabinet is appointed. However, Sharaf and his cabinet have already resigned in protest over the violent police attack on Tahrir demonstrators.