Renewed Violence Monday in Cairo's Tahrir Square
Clashes continued, Monday morning, between police and demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Police tried to use tear gas to clear the square of protesters, after at least 12 people were killed Sunday in a renewal of the revolution that brought down Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's regime.
The trouble began Saturday when police attacked some 200 protesters who set up a tent to commemorate demonstrators who had died February's Egyptian Revolution.
The assault ignited two days of riots between Egyptian police and army personnel who arrived to evict the thousands of protesters who streamed into Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Two people were killed Saturday and more than 600 wounded in the melee that followed. By Sunday evening, some reports said three were dead, others counted eight bodies on the pavement. When the smoke had cleared past midnight, however, the count had risen to 11.
Security forces reportedly fired rubber bullets and tear gas at the protesters, set fire to their tents and beat the demonstrators with clubs. Both sides hurled rocks at each other as well.
According to the AFP news agency, Mohammed Fattouh, who runs a field hospital, said he received three bodies with traces of live ammunition.
The demonstrators, egged on by Islamist parties, demanded that the ruling military council announce a date to transfer power to a civilian administration.
The first of Egypt's three rounds of parliamentary elections is scheduled to begin on November 28, but the entire process is not scheduled to end until some time next year. Presidential elections have not yet been scheduled.
Although an Associated Press reporter at the scene said most of the protesters had left the square by sunset Sunday, they soon returned after night fell over the city.
“The government is committed to holding elections on time,” the cabinet stated on state television Sunday. Police did not use live ammunition against protesters, the government claimed, thanking them for “self-restraint in dealing with the events.”