Egypt Independent

Sunday updates: Tear gas fired in Tahrir Square, police beat and arrest protesters



3:45 am

: Ahmed Ragheb, head of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, says that dead bodies are still arriving at the Zeinhom morgue. Their autopsies are due on Monday morning.

3:30 am: Protesters speak of a potential ceasefire with the army, but many remain doubtful that it will be enacted.

12:30 am: Fighting continues on both Mohamed Mahmoud Street and Bab al-Louq Street. Tear gas is fired at protesters from side streets.

12:54 am: An Al-Masry Al-Youm reporter says that extensive firing is taking place on Mohamed Mahmoud Street.

12:53 am:: A top official at the Ministry of Interior, Hesham Shiha, tells private TV channel OnTV that at least 10 bodies were transferred to the Zeinhom morgue in old Cairo.

12:34 am: The army is now firing tear gas, which has reached Tahrir Square near the American University in Cairo downtown campus, an Al-Masry Al-Youm correspondent says.

12:25 am: Sheikhs dressed in Al-Azhar uniforms are present in Tahrir, an Al-Masry Al-Youm correspondent says. They are raising a banner that reads: “Al-Azhar decides to end the rule of the military."

12:22 am: Prominent human rights activist Aida Seif El Dawla writes on her Twitter account that the prosecution’s decision concerning 68 arrested protesters has been delayed to Monday morning. The police are taking the arrested (among them four minors and four women) to the detention center at the Central Security Forces Camp in Salam district, located outside Cairo.

12:14 am: Journalist Sharif Kouddous reports on his Twitter account: "Some forces atop a building down Mohamed Mahmoud street were firing some gun sporadically on crowd below."

12:13 am: Activist Mostafa Hussein writes on his Twitter account: "Doctor in charge of hospital took a decision to photograph cases and put the images on fb page."

12:10 am: Presidential hopeful Hazem Saleh Abu Ismail tells Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr that what is demanded now is an urgent timetable for handing power to a civilian authority.

12:01 am: Doctors and volunteers in the makeshift hospital in Tahrir say they saw at least eight injuries with live bullets to the head, chest and side, an Al-Masry Al-Youm correspondent reports.

Sunday

11:56 pm: The makeshift hospital in Tahrir was hit by tear gas, an Al-Masry Al-Youm correspondent says. Doctors and patients are having trouble breathing.

11:55 pm: Presidential hopefuls Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh and Mohamed ElBaradei are speaking to Dream TV, a private satellite channel, criticizing both the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the government for mishandling the situation in Tahrir.

ElBaradei said the prime responsibility for the situation in the country is the SCAF, which he says has admitted it cannot run the country. ElBaradei asked who is responsible for starting this barbaric use of force that left over 1000 injured, 10 dead and 10 more blind; he answered: the Interior Ministry.

Abouel Fotouh said that, once again, protesters are being subjected to the same oppressive tactics used during the era of ex-president Hosni Mubarak. He added that until today, the blood of Egyptians is being shed only because the pure youth are trying to save their homeland. He said that the youth in Tahrir now are the same revolutionaries we all know.

11:47 pm: Ten protesters have been killed and 1700 injured during the clashes in downtown Cairo, state TV reports, quoting the Health Ministry.

11:45 pm: An Al-Masry Al-Youm correspondent says that special forces from the army, wearing masks, are heading to Bab al-Louq Square and Mansour Street in downtown Cairo.

11:44 pm: Protesters in the side streets leading to Tahrir Square are reporting being confronted by thugs coming from different parts of downtown Cairo, according to an Al-Masry Al-Youm correspondent.

11:37 pm: Al-Masry Al-Youm correspondents and eyewitnesses say that a number of thugs are present in downtown Cairo. There are some thugs in Bab al-Louq Square, they say. Activist Lilian Wagdy writes on Twitter that Central Security Forces soldiers on Hoda Shaarawy Street downtown are "inciting residents against us and some are joining them with light weapons.”

11:37 pm: Army soldiers are lined up across Mohamed Mahmoud Street and firing tear gas, pushing protesters back, an Al-Masry Al-Youm correspondent says.

11:29 pm: An Al-Masry Al-Youm correspondent says that the situation in Tahrir Square is unclear. People who are coming back from Mohamed Mahmoud Street have all been tear gassed, the correspondent says.

11:22 pm: Prominent human rights activist Aida Seif El Dawla writes on her Twitter account that the protesters who were arrested and are being investigated by the public prosecution office in Qasr al-Nil district were beaten by police after they refused to be taken into custody unless they are informed of the prosecutors’ decision. The head of the prosecution office in Qasr al-Nil fired the lawyers who complained about such unlawful treatment of the arrested protesters.

11:20 pm: Clashes continue on Youssef al-Guindy Street in downtown Cairo. Protesters are hurling rocks and firecrackers at a military armed vehicle that is firing some sort of explosive shots back at them, Al-Masry Al-Youm's correspondent there says. The protesters are standing on either end of an intersection, then jumping into the middle to hurl things at the armed vehicles and dodging the shots when the vehicles fire back.

11:16 pm: A photo taken by an Al-Masry Al-Youm correspondent shows a protester’s shirt covered in blood after he carried the body of a protester who reportedly was shot in heart on Mohamed Mahmoud Street.

11:14 pm: Police and army are firing live ammunition at protesters on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, eyewitnesses have told an Al-Masry Al-Youm correspondent.

11:10 pm: Dr. Haytham Magdy, from the makeshift hospital in Tahrir, tells Al-Masry Al-Youm that a protester has died after being shot through the spleen. Magdy says a live round must have caused the wound.

11:00 pm: Clashes have renewed between protesters and Central Security Forces on Mohamed Mahmoud Street in downtown Cairo. An Al-Masry Al-Youm correspondent there says that ambulances are carrying injured people away from the area.

10:45 pm: Presidential hopefuls Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh and Mohamed ElBaradei speak to Dream TV, a private satellite channel.

10:35 pm: Front to Defend Egypt Protesters publishes an updated list of protesters who were reportedly killed, injured or arrested.

10:35 pm: Journalist Ahmed Elbadry, reporting from the Upper Egyptian city of Qena, says on Twitter that fierce clashes have erupted between protesters and riot police in front of the city's Interior Ministry Directorate. Police are firing heavy rounds of tear gas to disperse protesters, Elbadry says.

10:33 pm: The April 6 Youth Movement says on its Twitter account that it calls for peaceful sit-ins to be held in the main squares in Cairo and other cities. It demands the formation of a national salvation government and a date to be set for handing over power to a civilian authority.

10:32 pm: Clashes have renewed in Suez around the headquarters of the secret police. Eyewitnesses say that police are firing live ammunition into the air.

10:16 pm: The Health Ministry says that six protesters were killed and more than 1300 injured in the last 24 hours, state TV reports.

10:15 pm: The Facebook fan page in support of former President Hosni Mubarak called “I'm sorry, Mr. President” calls for a protest at 2:00 pm on Monday in Abbasseya Square in northern Cairo to show its support for the SCAF.

10:09 pm: Users of social networking sites have disseminated a YouTube video that shows a Central Security Forces soldier, dragging what appears to be the body of a dead protester before dragging it to nearby garbage.

10:02 pm: The number of protesters in Tahrir Square have swelled considerably in the past two hours, Al-Masry Al-Youm's correspondent says. At least 10,000 protesters are there.

10:01 pm: SCAF orders the cabinet to investigate the circumstances that lead to the crisis in Tahrir Square, state TV reports.

9:55 pm: Medical sources in the makeshift hospital near Tahrir Square say seven protesters will killed in Sunday's violence, Al-Arabiya reports on its Twitter account for breaking news.

9:52 pm: SCAF regrets the incidents in Tahrir Square, state TV says.

9:50 pm: State TV says that SCAF calls on all political forces to contain the situation. It adds that SCAF doesn’t aim to prolong the transitional period, and it will not allow the hindering of the democratization process in the country.

9:37 pm: Twitter user Farah Saafan writes on her account: "A couple of tents already set up in #Tahrir post Mil Police attack http://yfrog.com/nyt1ajrj."

9:30 pm: Fighting continues between protesters and police in the streets surrounding the Interior Ministry Directorate in Alexandria.

8:50 pm: Protesters are carrying the dead body of a protester who was reportedly killed in the clashes on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, eyewitnesses say. They are heading to the cabinet building on Qasr al-Aini Street.

8:35 pm: Unconfirmed reports allege that one protester has been killed during clashes between protesters and police on Mohamed Mahmoud Street. Scores are reported to be injured.

8:35 pm: George Ishaq, a prominent political leader, told Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr that he had suspended his electoral campaign in Port Said in protest to the Tahrir violence.

8:30 pm: The Muslim Brotherhood has issued a statement, vowing it will resist any attempt to cancel or delay the parliamentary elections.

"Everyone should know that we and our conscious people will not allow the cancellation or the postponement of the elections, whatever the cost is. That would be a coup against the revolution, freedom and democracy, and a way to reproduce despotism, corruption and slavery," the statement said.

The group called on the Egyptian people to be weary of "attempts to abort the revolution and reproduce the old regime in a new form. Hence, we call on the Egyptian people to hold onto the demand of having the elections take place on time."

In the meantime, the group dismissed the police attack on the protest as a "crime."

"Sit-ins are a constitutional right as long a they are peaceful and do not halt traffic, affect state institutions and production, or infringe on public or private properties," the statement said. "Thus, attacking them is a crime, especially if the attack reaches the point of killing, striking eyes and inflicting physical injuries."

Brotherhood leaders tried to mediate between different parties to calm the situation, but "the attacks perpetrated by the police went beyond that [mediation] attempt," so the situation is still inflamed, the Brotherhood said.

8:22 pm: The Real Estate Tax Authority building in downtown Cairo is on fire.

8:20 pm: Clashes have renewed between protesters and police on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, which leads to the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior.

8:15 pm: Al-Masry Al-Youm sees the dead body of an unidentified protester at a makeshift hospital in Tahrir Square. A doctor says he died of asphyxiation.

8:10 pm: Hundreds of protesters in Ismailia are demonstrating in front of the Ministry of Interior Directorate in the city, denouncing police brutality against protesters in downtown Cairo, eyewitnesses say.

8:03 pm: Egyptian film directors Yousry Nasrallah and Ahmad Abdalla have announced their resignation from the board of the state-sponsored Egyptian Film Center in protest of police brutality against protesters.

8:00 pm: Protesters in Tahrir Square chant:  "Gas and bullets won't work, military rule is over."

7:50 pm: The Health Ministry says that three people were killed and 192 were wounded on Sunday during protests in downtown Cairo.

7:44 pm: Hundreds of protesters in the Upper Egyptian city of Assiut are chanting anti-police and anti-SCAF slogans during a demonstration in front of the city's Ministry of Interior Directorate, eyewitnesses say.

7:31 pm: Qasr al-Dobara Church, located behind the Mugamma government building in Tahrir Square, has opened its doors to receive those wounded in the Tahrir Square clashes, eyewitnesses say.

7:30 pm: In an interview with Al Jazeera, presidential hopeful Amr Moussa said Egypt is in dire need of a quick transfer of power to a civilian authority.

A clear and quick timetable for handing over power should be announced, Moussa said.

7:21 pm: Leftist journalist Hani Shukrallah writes on his Twitter account: "1000 injured, possibly a dozen dead and Sharaf's government hails police for 'self-restraint' — the world of the criminally insane #Egypt."

7:20 pm: Three people were killed and scores of others wounded, including children, as Egyptian army and police forces stormed the square Sunday to clear it of protesters, eyewitnesses at the makeshift hospital in Tahrir Square have said.

Doctors said the forces threw tear gas canisters at the hospitals, which caused some patients to die of suffocation.

A doctor at the field hospital had previously told an Al-Masry Al-Youm correspondent that four people had died in the clearing of the square.

7:15 pm: Scores of protesters in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya are heading to the Ministry of Interior Directorate in the city, eyewitnesses say.

7:10 pm: The government has affirmed its commitment to holding parliamentary elections on time, state TV reports.

The government calls on all political groups to help in order "to reach a shore of safety and achieve the goals of January 25 revolution," according to a statement read on state TV.

6:55 pm: Prominent Egyptian actor Khaled Saleh writes on his Twitter account:  “Attacking protesters in Tahrir is a crime and a betrayal of the nation. Such an attack proves that police security hasn’t changed and we should be brave to purge the [Ministry] of Interior and put the criminals on trial.”

6:50 pm: Culture Minister Emad Abu Ghazi has reportedly resigned in rejection of the handling of the recent protests.

6:35 pm: A doctor working at a makeshift field hospital on Mohamed Mahmoud Street spoke with Al-Masry Al-Youm and reported seeing four deaths, though this number has not been confirmed elsewhere.

The doctor, Ahmed Seada, said that throughout the attack by the police and the army, the field hospital workers saw tens of cases of people beaten up everywhere on their bodies, including on the head. They saw injuries caused by suffocation, tear gas and rubber shotgun pellets.

Seada said the dead bodies were taken by the military away from the field hospital. He said that during the attempt to clear the square, police officers attacked the field hospital and destroyed its equipment. The hospital workers managed to relocate, he said.

Dozens of people are now heading to the makeshift hospital. People look very badly injured, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm's correspondent there. Activists are cordoning off the hospital to protect and facilitate the treatment process.

6:20 pm: An activist interviewed by Al-Masry Al-Youm described how the attempt to clear Tahrir Square began.

Activist Sherif Abdel Moneim, a member of a youth group called Justice and Freedom, said that military officers approached the protesters while they were gathered in the roundabout and tried to ask them to leave. The officers explained that they wouldn't hurt protesters and were only there to mediate between protesters and police security forces.

However, as the mediation was taking place, some police security forces started deploying tear gas, and both police and army officers started beating up protesters and firing tear gas, Abdel Moneim said.

6:07 pm: Scores of people are trying to get to Tahrir Square from Bab al-Louq, but security forces are blocking them, according to an Al-Masry Al-Youm reporter.

Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters have regrouped on Talaat Harb Street and are marching toward the square. Lights in the square went out and then went back on, the reporter says.

6:00 pm: At least two dozen people were injured during security forces' dispersal of protesters in Tahrir, according to people in the square. Ten ambulances took injured people out. There are rumors that one protester was killed, but they are unconfirmed.

5:50 pm: Protesters marching through Tahrir Square are chanting, "Tantawi is the enemy of God." Another group is chanting Ultra football fan anti-security songs.

Meanwhile, EgyNews, an official state website, just announced that military police and security forces have completely cleared Tahrir Square of demonstrators. However, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm correspondents in the square, thousands of protesters remain.

5:30 pm: Military officers have retreated from the square, and protesters are returning to the roundabout. Other protesters have gathered at Mohamed Mahmoud Street and are chanting "Down with the Field Marshal [Hussein Tantawi]" at a group of military officers.

5:15 pm: Military officers have entered Tahrir Square to assist Central Security Forces in forcibly dispersing protesters.