Army-built barrier wall in central Cairo dismantled

Ahram Online , Thursday 3 Oct 2013

A concrete wall built by the army to block off part of a street in central Cairo is taken down, but at least six others are still in place

One of the walls erected by the military in downtown Cairo to block off access to key streets was dismantled during the early hours of Wednesday, allowing traffic to pass.

The removal of the wall allows traffic to continue down Qasr Al-Ainy Street towards the edges of Tahrir Square, where another wall remains in place sealing off access to the central square.

At least six other walls are still in place, intersecting roads around the Ministry of Interior, close to Tahrir Square.

The first wall was erected on 24 November 2011 on Mohamed Mahmoud Street leading to the interior ministry headquarters, following a five-day battle between Egypt's security forces and demonstrators in the area.

Similar barricades were then built on Qasr Al-Ainy Street, Sheikh Rehan Street, Youssef El-Guindy Street, Fahmy Street, Mansour Street, Falaky and Nubar streets between November 2011 and February 2012, effectively walling in the Ministry of Interior and bringing the area to a standstill.

The wall on Nubar Street was dismantled several months ago, shortly after the 3 July ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.

The concrete barricades have had a considerable impact on the already congested traffic of downtown Cairo. Shop owners in the vicinity complain they have been suffering financially, leading some to close, while local residents say they also suffer after having been sealed off for almost two years.

Several lawsuits have reportedly been filed demanding the removal of the walls.

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