Update: Police fire teargas, birdshots at Mohamed Mahmoud protesters

Update: Police fire teargas, birdshots at Mohamed Mahmoud protesters

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Mon, 19/11/2012 - 20:45

Fighting broke out on Monday evening during a mass demonstration to commemorate last year's clashes on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, as police fired birdshots and teargas at demonstrators.  

At least one protester had difficulty breathing because of the teargas, while stones thrown by security officers caused other injuries. 

Protesters climbed a wall erected by the Interior Ministry earlier this year on Youssef al-Guindy Street and broke some stones off the wall while chanting slogans against the Interior Ministry and demanding the collapse of the regime. Eyewitnesses said that the protesters hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails and police forces responded by throwing rocks as well. 

The state-run MENA news agency reported that seven have been injured so far on Youssef al-Guindy Street, included four police officers, while state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported that dozens were injured and were transferred to Tahrir Square for first aid. Thousands of protesters filled the street, Al-Ahram added, as security forces attempted to cordon a wider area around the Interior Ministry to prevent protesters from reaching it.

Earlier Monday, demonstrators chanted slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsy, such as “Down with Morsy Mubarak” and “Down with the Supreme Guide’s Rule.”

In the afternoon state-run Al-Ahram newspaper had reported that large numbers of demonstrators withdrew from Mohamed Mahmoud Street, fearing violent clashes with the police.

They said they went there to commemorate the event and not fight with the police. Members of the Ultras told Al-Ahram that some demonstrators were attempting to create instability.

The march marks the first anniversary of the bloody events that took place in Mohamed Mahmoud Street near Tahrir Square after security forces used excessive force on 19 November 2011 to break up a sit-in of protesters who were injured or whose relatives were killed during the revolution.

The incident provoked many citizens to go to Tahrir Square, where clashes continued with security forces for several days, during which 45 people died and hundreds were injured.

Fifty political groups announced their participation in protests commemorating the clashes.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm