Update: Journalists targeted as clashes erupt in Alexandria

Update: Journalists targeted as clashes erupt in Alexandria

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Fri, 19/04/2013 - 19:58

Clashes ignited between members of the Muslim Brotherhood and opposition activists in Sidi Gaber late Friday afternoon near the Brotherhood’s administrative offices, after a march of opposition protesters arrived to the area.

Both sides began pelting rocks at each other and setting off fireworks. Three have been reported injured.

Victor Emanuel Square in Alexandria also witnessed violence, as both sides carried out hit and run operations against each other. Brotherhood members reportedly carried out citizen arrests against opposition protesters.

Ahmed Tarek, an Alexandria-based reporter for the state-run news agency MENA, reportedly sustained a birdshot injury to the leg while covering the events. Brotherhood members were reportedly firing the bird shot at the opposition protesters. Amira Mortada, a photojournalist for the independent newspaper Shorouk, and Heba Khamies, a photojournalist for the independent newspaper Tahrir, were reportedly attacked while photographing Brotherhood members dragging a man through Victor Emmanual Square.

Sarhan Sennara, a reporter for Akhbar al-Youm newspaper, reportedly had her cellphone stolen during the clashes.

Hundreds of protesters in Alexandria had marched from Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque to Sidi Gaber after Friday prayers, where hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members had gathered to demand the purging of corruption from the judiciary.

Several of the opposition protesters put on black masks and led the march in a military-like fashion. They chanted: "One, two, where are the Brothers?" "Brothers out, our revolution will remain free," and "Down with the supreme guide rule."

The protesters called for dismissing the ministers of justice and the interior, early presidential elections and the appointment of a new Cabinet. 

Ambulances were stationed near the protests in anticipation of potential clashes.

Anti-Brotherhood forces also came out to Tahrir Square on Friday.

Adallah Nasr, the sheikh who delivered the Friday sermon in Tahrir today, called on Egyptians to repudiate the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsy, who he called a "fugitive prisoner."

Nasr said he would file a claim at the Qasr al-Nil Police Station to demand Morsy’s arrest and imprisonment, claiming he had escaped from prison during the 25 January revolution.

Nasr rejected the protests calling for purging the judiciary.

"The Brothers want to control the judiciary so as to complete the systemized ‘Brotherhoodization’ of state institutions," he alleged. "Who monitored the presidential elections that brought President Mohamed Morsy [to power]? Who monitored the referendum on the Constitution that the Brothers imposed on people?"

Nasr called for the eradication of the Judges for Egypt movement, describing its members as the "sons of the supreme guide and the Brothers' servants." He also called for the dismissal of the prosecutor general, "who has not investigated a single claim filed by revolutionaries," and the dissolution of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil’s Cabinet.

Dozens gathered in Tahrir Square to demand bringing down the regime. The numbers increased throughout the day as worshipers who prayed in Omar Makram Mosque joined them after prayers.

A number of protesters who were injured during the revolution set a stage in the square and more tents were built, bringing the total number to 11.

Protesters chanted: "The people want to bring down the supreme guide rule," "Free revolutionaries, we will continue the path," "Say it, do not be afraid, the supreme guide must leave," and "They killed the revolutionaries."

The protesters rejected the prosecution of members of the April 6 Youth Movement. Three April 6 activists were arrested Friday at dawn, and another member’s house was raided.  

They raised banners demanding Morsy be prosecuted and calling for the protection of the judiciary, the army and a secular state.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm