Saturday, February 2, 2013
Violent protests in Egypt on 'Friday of Deliverance'
Report by Al-Jazeera English, including the scene whereby a protester is stripped and beaten outside the palace.
Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets on Friday – in Cairo and across the country – to demand the dismissal of the current government of Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, the amendment of Egypt's newly-approved constitution and the appointment of a new prosecutor-general.
Towards the evening, the protests – called for by 16 Egyptian opposition parties and movements – turned violent, especially near the Presidential Palace in Cairo's Heliopolis district. At one point, protesters hurled Molotov cocktails at the building, resulting in a limited fire in the palace garden.
In response, security forces fired volleys of teargas at demonstrators and later torched several tents that had been part of a sit-in. By 9pm, the Egyptian Health Ministry announced that the total number of injured in Friday's clashes had reached 30, at least 24 of whom had been wounded outside the palace.
At around 9:30pm, a video surfaced online showing security forces deployed near the Presidential Palace stripping and beating a protester before throwing him in the back of a security vehicle. At around 10pm, it was reported – and later confirmed – that 23-year-old protester Mohamed Hussein Korani had been killed during clashes outside the palace. According to hospital officials, Korani had sustained gunshot wounds to the neck and chest.
The situation escalated further when the presidency issued a statement condemning the assault on the palace and holding opposition "political forces" responsible for instigating the violence.
Several of the opposition groups that had called for the protests released statements shortly afterward condemning the use of violence and urging their members to withdraw from areas around the palace.
"The National Salvation Front urges young activists at the palace to refrain from committing acts of violence and to employ exclusively peaceful methods,” NSF spokesman Khaled Daoud told Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website.
Protests took also place in Port Said, Alexandria, Fayoum, Kafr Al-Sheikh, Qena, Suez and Arish. In the Nile Delta city of Kafr El-Sheikh, 18 people were injured – from both sides – in clashes between protesters and security forces, according to Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website.