Clashes in Abassiya

04-05-2012 08:05 PM

Georgette Sadeq


Following the Muslim Friday noon prayers today, protestors marched from various mosques in Cairo towards Abassiya, Cairo, where the Defence Ministry lies. Others protestors marched towards Tahrir

Following the Muslim Friday noon prayers today, protestors marched from various mosques in Cairo towards Abassiya, Cairo, where the Defence Ministry lies. Others protestors marched towards Tahrir. 
The demonstrators in the major part belonged to Islamist parties or movements, in addition to a few civil movements among which was the 6 April movement. They demanded that the military should step down and hand over the country to the Islamist forces, and that Sheikh Hazem Abu-Ismail, who was disqualified from running for president because he fell short of the candidacy conditions, should be allowed to run.
In Abassiya, the demonstrations turned violent as protestors insisted on breaking the defences around the Defence Ministry and breaking in. The military dispersed them with water guns and tear gas and, according to unconfirmed testimonies by some eye-witnesses, with rubber or live bullets. The military had strongly warned yesterday that the Defence Ministry was off-limits.
So far it has been difficult to determine the number of deaths or injuries, even though the Health Ministry has given figures near 60 dead. The demonstrators, mainly Islamists, had attacked the ministry’s ambulance cars; and the hospitals near Abassiya had to close their doors because of the tear gas. The Health Ministry had to move the injured on motorbikes to the nearest hospitals that were yet open.
WATANI International
4 May 2012
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