CAIRO: Demonstrators and soldiers hurled stones at each other on Friday outside the cabinet’s offices where protesters against the military rulers have been holding a weeks-long sit-in, witnesses said.
The central Cairo clashes erupted at dawn after a bloodied protester said he had been arrested by soldiers and beaten up, infuriating his comrades who began throwing stones at the soldiers, journalist Mostafa Sheshtawy said.
The troops responded by firing shots in the air and using water cannon, before throwing stones back at the protesters from the roof of the nearby parliament building, he added.
Mona Seif, an activist against military trials of civilians, said soldiers also threw chairs at the protesters from parliament’s roof.
She said she accompanied injured demonstrators to a nearby hospital, where at least one received treatment for a birdshot wound.
The protesters have been camped outside the cabinet’s offices since Nov. 25, when they branched off from larger demonstrations in nearby Tahrir Square.
They objected to the military’s appointment of a new prime minister, calling on the ruling generals to fully transfer power to a civilian government.
The military, in charge since president Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow in February, has said it will step down once a president is elected by the end of June next year.