Protesters injured in Tahrir Square clashes


Dozens of protesters were injured yesterday as supporters and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood and its president, Mohamed Morsi, threw stones, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at each other in Tahrir Square, Egypt’s revolutionary centre.

The clashes went on for hours, after tensions were inflamed by barbed chants from both sides. Protesters sympathetic to left-wing and liberal forces were kicked out of the square, only to return in greater numbers. Violence flared when Morsi supporters barred their path back.

One man who was wounded in a beating from Morsi supporters said: “They trapped us from both sides after attacking our stage where we were chanting. As they beat me they chanted ‘God is Great’ and said they’d kidnap me, but I managed to escape.”

The original protest had been organised by secular forces to protest against the monopolisation of the drafting of Egypt’s new constitution by Islamist groups.

There had been an escalation in anti-Morsi sentiment after 24 stalwarts of the Hosni Mubarak regime charged over attacks last year were acquitted on Wednesday.

As night fell, after hours of clashes with no intervention by security forces, the Morsi supporters appeared to leave, while their opponents chanted: “Down with Morsi Mubarak.” – (Guardian service)