Egyptian security forces storm Cairo's Tahrir Square on anniversary of deadly clashes



Egyptian supporters of the military-backed regime (background) throw stones towards anti-regime protesters during clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Nov. 19, 2013.



Egyptian riot police stormed Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Tuesday where protesters were marking the second anniversary of deadly clashes with security forces in 2011.

Agence France-Presse cited a health ministry official as saying at least 16 people had been injured after police fired tear gas and shots to disperse the rock-throwing demonstrators. 

Hundreds, if not thousands, turned out to commemorate the deaths of 42 protesters killed during the clashes two years ago. Those demonstrations were against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the military junta that assumed power after the toppling of dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Tuesday's protesters also wanted to express their frustration at the people they felt had "betrayed" the goals of the 2011 uprising against Mubarak, such as his supporters, the military council and President Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, which was elected to power but was ousted by the military in July. 

"We are against both the Brotherhood and the military because they did not do anything for the revolution," Omar el-Sibai, a 19-year-old architecture student, told the Associated Press

"And now if anybody says his opinion and is against the authorities, he is either a terrorist or Brotherhood."

Many also called for the overthrow of the military-backed government, while accusing the security forces of oppression. 

“Down with the military regime,” the protesters chanted. “We want to protect our country from oppression.”

Protesters reportedly scuffled with supporters of the military-backed rulers, before chasing them from the square. 

Meanwhile, less than 24 hours after its inauguration, a state memorial dedicated to the protesters killed in 2011 had been vandalized and spray painted with slogans denouncing Morsi and the man who led his ouster, military chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

The Associated Press said the destruction was a reflection of protesters’ anger at what they see as “an attempt by the current military-backed rulers … to paper over past bloodshed and rewrite history.”