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Egyptian Army Beats Demonstrators, Kills Nine

Video from Cairo shows soldiers administering savage beatings to protesters. Second day of violence at Tahrir Square.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/17/2011, 6:52 PM


Video shot Saturday shows Egyptian soldiers administering savage beatings to protesters in Tahrir Square. Al Jazeera reported nine people had died in two days of violence.

Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri accused the demonstrators of mounting "an attack against the revolution."

According to the BBC, the demonstrators had staged a sit-in Friday near the cabinet building and threw stones at soldiers, who "responded in kind." Two people were reported dead Friday. Some reports ascribed recent deaths to gunshot wounds, others to beatings.

Al Jazeera's reports did not say that the protesters had attacked the soldiers, and ascribed the violence only to the army. They added that the military had burned down protesters' tents. 

The sit-in began three weeks ago after the appointment of Ganzouri by Egypt's governing military council. The protesters want the generals to transfer power immediately to a civilian authority, and not wait until a presidential election in mid-2012.

The BBC account of the violence said that the clashes began early on Friday after images were published online of the badly bruised face of an activist, who said he had been beaten by military police.

Protesters threw stones at the soldiers, who responded with stones and baton charges. Plainclothes and uniformed security officers threw rocks at the activists from the roof of the parliament building. Some in the crowd threw fire bombs, causing part of the building and several cars to catch fire.