EGYPT

Eyewitness accounts from the clashes in Tahrir Square

 Alleged supporters of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak clashed violently with opposition protesters on Wednesday after storming their rally in Tahrir square, in central Cairo. Our Observers on the ground report their accounts of the clashes.

Advertising

Photo: TravellerW sur Twitter.

 

Alleged supporters of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak clashed violently with opposition protesters on Wednesday after storming their rally in Tahrir Square, in central Cairo. Our Observers on the ground have sent us their accounts.

 

Live footage of these clashes is part of FRANCE 24’s coverage of the events in Egypt. You can also follow real-time developments on FRANCE 24.com’s liveblogging page

 

"It's time for the anti-government protests to stop"

Ibrahim Aboshoka lives in Cairo. He calls himself a political “moderate”.

 

I’m pretty sure the horses and dromedaries came from the seaside boardwalk and from around the pyramids, there are plenty of horse and camel tours for tourists there. Those riding them didn’t look like mounted police, I think they were civilians who decided to protest on horseback.

 

The army didn’t intervene because it has remained neutral from the start. Its role is to protect public buildings and historical monuments, but blocking Mubarak supporters would have meant siding with the anti-government movement. 

 

I think the opposition movement was a good thing at first. They lit the candle that allowed Mubarak to see the people’s discontent. But by continuing to protest, they risk lighting the candle by both ends and setting the whole country on fire. What’s happening today on Tahrir Square is a perfect example of that. I think the president understood the people’s message. He announced significant concessions. It’s time for the protests to stop.”

 

“Clearly, the government is behind this attack”

Ramy Raoof is a human rights activist is a human rights activist in Cairo.

 

I was on Tahrir Square last night and this morning. A group of Mubarak supporters had already come to bother us at around 4 a.m. There were rumours that they would launch an attack in the morning, and I personally went to speak to soldiers posted around the square to warn them.

 

Nevertheless, when the pro-Mubarak militants returned in the morning, the army let them through. They charged the crowd on horseback and camelback, armed with sticks and knives. No-one knows where the horses come from: it’s another of Mubarak’s tricks! I heard several gunshots but didn’t see where they came from.  It was obvious that secret service members and plainclothes policemen were among the militants. Clearly, the government is behind this attack.

 

I’m going to stay on Tahrir Square and probably sleep here. But I’m really afraid that things will take a turn for the worse. And I think Internet and phone networks may soon once again be cut. "