Clashes erupt near Tahrir Square between police, unknown civilians

Ahram Online, Saturday 18 May 2013

Police fired teargas while small groups of civilians threw stones and Molotov cocktails in vicinity of Semiramis hotel, just off Tahrir

Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mursi flee from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Police forces used teargas Friday while confronting dozens of civilians in front of the Semiramis InterContinental hotel just off Tahrir Square, which has witnessed frequent clashes over the past few months.

Crowds mainly consist of young teenagers threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at security forces as two police vehicles pursued them.

Rioters also set tyres on fire and burned wood in the middle of the road to block it. They also blocked the nearby Kasr El-Nile bridge for a while.

There have been intermittent scuffles between unknown civilians and security forces outside the Semiramis hotel, which is located in a street adjacent to the famous square, for the past few months.

Thousands of protesters converged on Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday to join a rally in solidarity with the recently-launched "Rebel" campaign, which aims at "withdrawing confidence" from Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and bringing about early presidential elections.

Some minor scuffles took place in Tahrir but did not involve security forces.

Traffic returned to normal in Tahrir Square by late evening.

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