Egypt: Pro-Morsi protesters retake Tahrir square, clash with police

For first time in months, protesters reenter Tahrir square, clash with police. Infamous square has rarely been used by Islamists protesters, 'We have entered Tahrir, which means the coup is going to end,' protesters says as regime orders detention of head of Brotherhood's TV channel

Several hundred supporters of Egypt's ousted Islamist president have entered and taken over Cairo's Tahrir square, setting the stage for almost inevitable violence.


The development, late Sunday afternoon, was the first time in more than a year that Islamists entered the square in significant numbers. The location has been the near exclusive domain of liberal and secular protesters since shortly after Mohamed Morsi took office in June 2012.


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Sunday's Islamist protesters came from Cairo University, where they have been protesting the death of an engineering student at the hands of police.


Four fingers - symbol of pro-Morsi movement (Photo: EPA)
Four fingers - symbol of pro-Morsi movement (Photo: EPA)

Protesters return to Tahrir (Photo: AP)
Protesters return to Tahrir (Photo: AP)

Police did not intercept their march to Tahrir, a 30-minute journey by foot but did fire tear gas as more than two thousand students began to demonstrate against July's military "coup," an AFP reporter said.


Protesters were chanting "Down with the military regime!", "People want the fall of the regime!" and "Rabaa Rabaa," an AFP reporter said, as demonstrators flashed a four-finger sign that has become associated with a government crackdown on pro-Morsi supporters in Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya square on August 14.


Clashes (Archive: Reuters)
Clashes (Archive: Reuters)

Violence in streets of Cairo (Photo: AP)
Violence in streets of Cairo (Photo: AP)


Hundreds were killed that day when security forces stormed a massive sit-in of pro-Morsi supporters who had refused to leave despite repeated warnings.


"We have entered Tahrir, which means the coup is going to end," a female protester told AFP in Tahrir on Sunday.


Police later dispersed the crowd with tear gas and protesters fled into nearby streets, with several suffering from the effects of the tear gas.


Incitement to violence

A court in Egypt Sunday ordered the detention of the head of the Muslim Brotherhood television channel, as the authorities pressed a crackdown on the banned group.


Hani Salaheddin, who was arrested Thursday, was ordered detained for 15 days as part of an investigation into the broadcast of "false information" and "incitement to violence," judicial sources said.


The action comes three months after a Cairo court ordered in September that four television stations, including Al-Jazeera Egypt and the Brotherhood's Misr 25, be closed indefinitely.


Misr 25 was among several Islamist networks that went off the air soon after the July 3 ouster by the military of president Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood.


More than 1,000 people have been killed and thousands more arrested, mostly Islamists, since Egypt's military-installed authorities launched a crackdown against Morsi supporters in mid-August. Morsi and top Brotherhood leaders are behind bars facing trial for incitement to murder. 


The Associated Press and AFP contributed to this report



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פרסום ראשון: 12.01.13, 17:25
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