Nine dead in clashes, Egyptian army sets barbed wire around cabinet

Ahram Online, Saturday 17 Dec 2011

The attack by Egypt's army against the Occupy Cabinet protest has left 9 dead and 340 injured; military seizes area surrounding cabinet headquarters and Tahrir Square

Protesters carrying an injured
Egyptian protesters carry an injured fellow protester during clashes with military police near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt Saturday, 17 December, 2011. (AP Photo/Mohammed Abu Zaid)

Health ministry reports nine deaths and around 344 injuries since the bebinning of military attack on protesters sitting in at Cabinet headquarters in Cairo in the early hours of Friday morning.

Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri, recently appointed by Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is addressing the nation in response to the violence. He defends that no one can tell how the violence actually erupted.

Clashes between army soldiers and Cabinet protesters wound down Saturday morning as the army forcefully dispersed the roughly three-week-long sit-in at the Cabinet headquarters.

Army soldiers surrounded Cabinet headquarters with barricades and barbed wire to block protesters' attempts to return to the Cabinet. The army also seized control of Tahrir Square.

Hundreds of protesters gathered Saturday morning around the Cabinet headquarters and attempted to set fire to part of the building, some of which were arrested.

Army soldiers, late Thursday night, attacked hundreds of protesters who were staging a sit-in in front of the Cabinet headquarters against the military appointment of Kamal El-Ganzouri as the new prime minister in early December.

Essam Sharaf had been leading the interim government after Egypt's January 25 revolution, but resigned after the police attacked a peaceful sit-in of only tens demanding retribution for injuries or the death of their loved ones during the revolution. The incident flared as activists and Egyptians stood up for their right to protest and against the attacks on the small band of protesters. Five days of clashes ensued between protesters and police and army forces starting 19 November in Mohamed Mahmoud Square near Tahrir.

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