CAIRO – Police and military troops clashed Monday with protesters in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, the symbolic center of the uprising that brought down President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year, CNN said.
At least two protesters were killed, according to field doctor Ahmed Khalil, bringing the total number of dead in protests to 13 since Friday. Monday was the fourth day that pro-democracy demonstrators battled Egyptian security, their anger stoked by images of a military police officer stomping on a woman’s exposed stomach over the weekend.
A top general on the military council that runs Egypt blamed the violence on protesters, saying they had provoked the clashes. Demonstrators have been using “very destructive methods,” including Molotov cocktails, gas bombs and rocks, said Gen. Adel Amara of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) on Monday.
“Protests start peacefully then they turn into attacks on government buildings,” Amara said, saying “events have proven there is a plan to destroy the country.” He vowed that the generals honestly intend to hand power to a civilian government – a key demand of the thousands who have been demonstrating.
Gigi Ibrahim, a prominent activist who was present at the clashes early on Monday, accused the army and police of firing “indiscriminately.” But Maj. Mohamed Askar of SCAF said protesters were capturing and wounding soldiers.