Egypt: Death toll rises as security forces storm Cairo's Tahrir Square (VIDEO)


Egyptian protesters against military rule throw stones towards the Ministry of Transport and Communications during clashes in Cairo on December 17, 2011.


Mohammed Abed

Clashes between protesters and security forces continued in the Egyptian capital for a second day Saturday.

The death toll from the latest violence is at least nine, with around 300 injured, according to a health ministry estimate, Reuters reported.

More from GlobalPost: 7 killed, hundreds injured in recent Egyptian clashes (VIDEO)

Local news site Ahram reported a "major attack by the army on protesters in Tahrir Square":

Bel Trew, a journalist, told Ahram Online from the scene of Tahrir Square that security forces attacked protesters with batons. She heard what sounded to her like gunshots but did not see guns.

The military stormed the square and chased protesters into surrounding streets, according to Trew. The report continued:

Trew added that the military were guided by plain-clothed men assisting them to beat up protesters. Paramedics were also assaulted by the military as they were evacuating a field hospital near the Omar Makram Mosque.

Witnesses said police had confiscated cameras to prevent them filming. This video, apparently shot by a local resident, appears to show officers in riot gear chasing people and throwing missiles:


The clashes began at dawn Saturday, according to the BBC, which reported that demonstrators threw stones at riot police surrounding the Egyptian parliament.

Witnesses reported seeing government buildings on fire. One told Reuters that protesters' tents in Tahrir Square were also set alight.

Funerals were due to be held Saturday for some of those killed since violence broke out anew late Thursday, including medical student Alaa Abd El-Hady and senior Muslim cleric Emad Effat. Both were killed as soldiers broke up the so-called "Occupy Cabinet" sit-in outside cabinet headquarters.

Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri has denied accusations that security forces fired live bullets on Occupy demonstrators. In a press conference Saturday, he said that the violence was started by people who "do not want good for this country."

Those participating are "not the youth of the revolution," he said, describing the latest protests as an "assault on the revolution" that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

Three members of Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) have resigned in protest at the crackdown, Ahram reported: Abul Ela Madi, Moatez Abdel-Fatah and Ahmed Kheiry. Meanwhile former presidential candidate Ayman Nour called on the council to "leave power immediately."