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Sunday, July 24, 2011
EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION-II: Protesters clash with knife-wielding men in Cairo!
By SARAH EL DEEB, The Associated Press / ajc.com / 5:26 p.m. Saturday, July 23, 2011.
An Egyptian holds a noose as he shouts revenge slogans at Tahrir Square, the focal point of the Egyptian uprising, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 22, 2011. Protesters were vowing that they would not leave the square until Egypt's temporary military rulers purge the remnants of Hosni Mubarak's deposed regime. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil).
CAIRO — Groups of men armed with knives and sticks attacked thousands of protesters trying to march to the headquarters of Egypt's military rulers Saturday, setting off fierce street clashes and leaving more than 100 injured, most lightly. Security fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.
The clashes come as tensions mount between the military council that took control of the country after a popular uprising ousted ex-President Hosni Mubarak and activists who want them to move faster in bringing former regime officials to justice and setting a date for the transition to civilian rule.
The military has appeared impatient with the pressure, accusing activists of treason, warning protesters against "harming national interests" and calling on "honorable" Egyptians to confront actions that disrupt a return to normal life.
An estimated 10,000 people set out from downtown Cairo's Tahrir Square but were stopped from reaching the military headquarters in the eastern Abbasiyah neighborhood by a line of army barricades. Along the way, they chanted slogans against the military council's delay in implementing their demands.
The march coincided with the 59th anniversary of the 1952 military coup that toppled the monarchy and brought a series of military leaders to office, ending with Mubarak.
"Down with the ruler of the military," the protesters chanted.
Bands of men armed with knives and sticks set upon them from side roads and from in front of the military barricades, setting off pitched street battles in which both sides threw punches and hurled rocks.