Activists blame government for ongoing downtown violence

Activists blame government for ongoing downtown violence

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Thu, 22/11/2012 - 13:32

Fighting between police and protesters continues on Mohamed Mahmoud Street for the fourth day since demonstrations Monday marking the anniversary of clashes on the same street last year.

After overnight clashes in the area around the Lycée School and near Parliament, the area surrounding the Interior Ministry was calm Thursday morning. In the afternoon, some demonstrators climbed a wall constructed by the ministry behind the American University in Cairo's downtown campus. Demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails at police, who responded by firing birdshot into the crowd.

More than 100 people have been injured and at least 118 arrested in the downtown demonstrations this week, the government announced Wednesday afternoon

Central Security Forces fired tear gas Thursday around dawn, dispersing protesters to Talaat Harb Street and Abdel Moneim Riyad Square, state TV's website reported.

The Health Ministry announced that the number of injuries in the ongoing clashes of Mohamed Mahmoud Street has reached 152. Of those, 12 are still undergoing treatment across five hospitals.

Khalid Al-Khatib, a ministry official, said the injuries mainly consist of body bruises, facial and head injuries, fractures and birdshot. He stressed that there have been no deaths so far. A member of the April 6 Youth Movement however remains on life support at Qasr al-Aini Hospital.

More than two dozen political and activist groups have condemned what they say is the Interior Ministry's excessive use of violence against demonstrators. In a joint statement Wednesday, they held President Mohamed Morsy and Islamists responsible and called for the dismissal of the government and the prosecution of the interior minister and his aides.

Among the forces that signed the statement were the No to Military Trials Campaign, the New Woman Foundation, Al-Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, Revolutionary Socialists, Freedom Egypt Party, and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party.

The American University on Thursday closed its downtown campus and postponed events there until further notice due to the violence.