Field Marshal Tantawi attends funeral of Abbasiya slain soldier, checks site of clashes

Ahram Online, Saturday 5 May 2012

Egypt's Field Marshal and his Deputy attend a brief military funeral held for the soldier who was killed in Friday's clashes in Abbasiya

Tantawi and Anan
Archive photo of Head of Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi (L) with Egyptian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Sami Anan after laying a wreath during their visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on the anniversary of Egypt's armed forces Martyr's day, in Cairo March 8, 2012(photo: Reuters)

The head of Egypt's ruling military council, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, and his deputy and chief of staff, Sami Anan, attended a military funeral held for a military police soldier who was killed Friday in the violent clashes between army forces and protesters. Clashes began as the military made one big push to end a week-long sit-in in front of the ministry of defence in Abbasiya, Cairo.

The funeral prayer was held in Al-Rashdan Mosque in Cairo, followed by a brief military funeral march, during which the body of the deceased soldier lay atop of a military tank, wrapped in the Egyptian flag.

Following the funeral, Tantawi visited the injured military soldiers in the nearby Al-Qobba Hospital. He later toured the area surrounding Abbasiya Square where the clashes took place on Friday.

The latest health ministry report confirms two deaths from Friday's clashes. According to the the report, one of the casualties was a soldier named Samir Anwar Ismail and took a bullet to the stomach.

Egypt's military police began firing water cannons on protesters at 3:30pm Friday, after thousands-strong marches reached the army headquarters to protest the ruling military council and push for a transfer of power to a civilian government.

Protesters responded by throwing stones as clashes broke out. Military police personnel were filmed on Nile state TV beating demonstrators with their batons. It is still unclear, however, how the fighting started.

Following the clashes the SCAF announced a one-night curfew on television. The Abbasiya area would be closed between Friday 11:00pm and Saturday 7:00am. The ruling military council said groups attacked the army outside of their headquarters earlier that afternoon.

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