Mubarak Supporters Clash With Demonstrators Inciting Violence
Pro-Mubarak Egyptians appeared at Tahrir Square in Cairo to challenge pro-democracy demonstrators, leading to violence and injuries.
Pro-Mubarak forces tried to push their way into the square through numerous side streets and were met with, in some cases, cordons of peaceful protesters and, in others, by those throwing large chunks of stone or concrete.
At El Bustan street, just off Tahrir Square, the two sides surged back and forth for more than an hour, with at least a dozen of the pro-Mubarak Egyptians injured by the flying stones — two at this spot were carried away unconscious. One man staggered away with blood running down his face after apparently being hit by a rock. Other men brandished wooden clubs and glass bottles.
The pro-Mubarak throngs seemed highly organized, leading to questions as to whether the Egyptian president himself is behind the confrontations. The military tried to disperse the crowds, but the anti-government demonstrators vowed not to leave.
Many of the anti-Mubarak forces were unaware of the military’s request to disband — and said they would disregard it in any event.
“We’re not leaving. We’ll sit under the tanks if the army tries to stop us,” said Omar Adli, an anti-Mubarak demonstrator who was bearded and clad in a long robe-like galabeya. Then he broke off speaking to run toward a nearby knot of men who had begun shoving one another and throwing punches.
Mubarak supporters chanted, “In spirit and blood we want you, Mubarak,” they chanted, as a handful of soldiers proved powerless to hold them back.
“You are your president. You are our president,” they shouted.
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