Updated: At least 11 dead in attack on Egypt's Abbasiya sit-in

Ahram Online , Wednesday 2 May 2012

Thugs attack sit-in by supporters of Salafist former presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail outside Defence Ministry, at least 11 dead and dozens injured, according to the ministry of interior

Egyptians clash in Cairo
Egyptians clash in Cairo (photo: AP)

At least eleven people died and dozens were injured when plain clothed men, attacked protesters camping outside the ministry of defense in Abbasiya, Cairo, early Wednesday morning.

Official sources in ministry of interior have informed Reuters that the death toll in the Abassiya clashes has increased to 11 while there are 49 injured officially documented on Wednesday. 

Unconfirmed reports coming from the field hospitals in the area speaks about a death toll that reached up to 20 and over 60 injured.

 Clashes were  ongoing till Wednesday noon.

Tahrir Doctors released a statement early Wednesday confirming two dead during what they described as “the Wednesday massacre.” Both deaths were from live bullet wounds to the head, said the statement. Another man is in a critical condition after suffering a gunshot wound to the chest. The number of deaths is believed to have at least doubled since the doctors' statement at around 4.30am. Eye witnesses from the local field hospital estimated 8 deaths.

At least four demonstrators suffered birdshot wounds to the eyes and twenty received other facial injuries. The statement added that this was just a preliminary estimate.

The doctors condemned the closure of several nearby hospitals including Demerdash, Ain Shams and Al-Hussein. The only hospital to receive the injured was Al-Shefa, which was besieged by “thugs” who kidnapped the injured and attacked ambulance personnel.   

The four-day sit-in outside the Defence Ministry was triggered by anger at the disqualification of Salafist Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail from the presidential race and has turned into a protest against military rule.

The assailants attacked the protesters in the early hours of Wednesday with cement-based bombs, stones, Molotov cocktails, birdshot guns and teargas canisters according to eyewitness reports.

This is the second major attack on the protesters in less than 72 hours. An attack on Saturday reportedly left one protester dead and tens injured.

Tahrir Doctors is a group of medical doctors who voluntarily aid those injured at protests.

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