Egypt Independent

Calm returns to Tahrir after a night of clashes

Calm has returned to Tahrir Square on Friday morning following a night of clashes between security forces and protesters, and ahead of planned nation-wide marches to commemorate the 25 January revolution. 

The clashes started on Thursday after security forces moved past a constructed wall in Qasr al-Aini street, which was built in the aftermath of earlier fighting with protesters last November. The forces moved further into Tahrir Square, burnt some of the tents of protesters participating in a two-months long sit-in and fired bird shots and tear gas at them, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported. Protesters responded by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. 

Protesters had started removing the wall earlier in the day, but police arrived later with some concrete blocks and a crane to rebuild it, on request from the Interior Ministry.

At least 20 people were injured in the clashes of Thursday night, including four policemen, healthy ministry sources reported. 

Policemen eventually retreated behind the Qasr al-Aini wall, while protesters marched around the square chanting, "Write on your prison wall, shame on the guide's rule," referring to the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood from which President Mohamed Morsy hails. 

An hour after clashes have calmed, a private car drove by the square and fired bird shots at protesters, injuring one of them, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported. 

On Friday morning, military armored vehicles were spotted on the Qasr al-Nil bridge leading to Tahrir Square, as well as Central Security trucks spread around neighboring streets.

The sit-in of Tahrir Square has followed Morsy's controversial constitutional declaration, through which he claimed unprecedented powers for himself. 
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm.