Bulaq residents deny link with Maspero skirmishes
Ahram Online, Sunday 29 Jan 2012
Residents of Bulaq Abu El-Ela say they had nothing to do with Sunday's melee between Maspero activists and unidentified assailants

Several residents of Cairo’s low-income Bulaq Abu El-Ela neighbourhood have reportedly gone to the nearby Maspero district – site of an ongoing sit-in against military rule – to deny their involvement in limited clashes with protesters that erupted Sunday afternoon outside the State Television building.

Some Bulaq Abu El-Ala residents have even joined protesters in their open-ended sit-in to express solidarity with activists’ demands for a speedy transfer of power from Egypt’s ruling military council to a civilian authority.

At least one eyewitness had earlier told Ahram Online that unidentified individuals had come from Bulaq on Sunday afternoon and attempted to attack protesters gathered at Maspero, who responded by hurling stones at the State Television building.

Although Sunday’s disturbances quickly subsided, ten protesters were said to have been lightly injured in the melee.

Protesters opposed to military rule have been staging a sit-in outside Maspero’s State Television building since 25 January – the one-year anniversary of the popular uprising that eventually toppled the Mubarak regime – to call for the “purge” of state media of pro-Mubarak elements.

Following Sunday’s skirmishes, demonstrators insisted on maintaining their sit-in, with many accusing Egyptian security forces of having surreptitiously orchestrated the attacks.