Over 100 injured as protesters clash in Cairo’s Tahrir Square
Thousands of protesters clashed in violent scenes in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday over the performance of Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohammed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood. More than 100 were reported injured in the violence, which spilled on to Cairo’s side streets.
In Tahrir Square, protesters called for the toppling of the Muslim Brotherhood. This was swiftly followed by gunshots, and sticks, stones, and glass bottles were thrown. The Freedom and Justice Party reported that protesters burned a party building and its buses, whilst protesters claim that the Brotherhood destroyed a platform and stage that was built for speeches in Tahrir Square.
The political system in Egypt has become a fighting ground between Egyptians who demand a new found democratic society and conservatives who want the Islamic religion to feature in politics.
Liberal groups have been calling for demonstrations for weeks to protest against Mursi’s failure to fulfill promises made by his administration. They have demanded to be included in the drafting of Egypt’s new constitution, a minimum wage to be set, and to see those accused of killing protesters during last year’s uprising held to account.
The Muslim Brotherhood protested after a judge acquitted 24 Egyptians for charging at crowds on camel and horseback, killing 21 people and leaving scores injured during last year’s uprising in Tahrir Square.
Secular groups within Cairo have accused the Brotherhood of deliberately disrupting their protest and adopting similar tactics used last year to suppress the people.
“My conclusion is that Mursi is just the president of the Brotherhood, that’s all,” said one protester, Sayed al-Hawari.
Protester Rania Mohsen said, “We are here against turning the state into a Brotherhood state. We do not want to replace the old regime with one like the old one.”