Egyptian army evacuates Tahrir Square

Dina Samak , Wednesday 9 Mar 2011

After days of round the clock protests and good relations between protesters and the army, the military has cleared Tahrir Square without warning

Tahrir Square.
Egyptians gather near armored vehicles after minor clashes at Cairo's central Tahrir Square in Cairo (Photo : AP)

The Egyptian Army started evacuating Tahrir Square of protesters following days of sit-ins. "Without any notice the army started attacking us, distorting our camp and forcing us to leave the place," says Rasha Azab, one of the protesters.

Earlier this noon hundreds of thugs approached the square, chanting "The people demand the evacuation of the square," and started throwing stones at the protesters who responded with stones in defence

"In the first attack, the army interfered at a late stage to separate the two groups after the situation became very serious," says Ismail Abdel Fattah. "They used tear gas and fired bullets to the air to keep the thugs away," he added. "But later thugs and the army attacked us."

For the past few days the army has been calling on protesters to evacuate the square, but the protesters insisted on staying until all the demands of the 25 January Egyptian Revolution are fulfilled. Today the army forced the situation.

Those described by protesters as "thugs" claim otherwise. Many of them say they are workers in shops downtown and other places who think that the sit-in was affecting their business. At least 25 were wounded and at least two armored vehicles were seen moving towards the square to restore calm.

Tens of protestors have been arrested on both sides through the day, but it is still to be seen if the army will press charges against them.

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