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Nationwide protests against Brotherhood rule

Protest across the country marking the 6 April 2008 general strike becomes anti-Muslim Brotherhood protest

Egyptian activists shout slogans during a protest outside the lawyers' syndicate in downtown Cairo, after it was hit by a strong sandstorm, on April 6, 2008.  (AFP File Photo)
Egyptian activists shout slogans during a protest outside the lawyers’ syndicate in downtown Cairo, after it was hit by a strong sandstorm, on April 6, 2008.
(AFP File Photo)

Nationwide protests marking the 6 April 2008 general strike in Mahalla turned violent on Saturday as police clashed with protesters in several governorates. Aside from Cairo, there were clashes in Mahalla, Alexandria, Mansoura and Sharqeya, as well as a large protest in the North Sinai governorate.

In Mahalla, the epicenter of the general strike in 2008, clashes broke out as protesters approached the Mahalla police station. The Ministry of Interior said in a statement that protesters attempted to storm the police station, throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails, fireworks, and firing bullets.

The ministry said the attack destroyed the exterior of the police station, prompting security forces to disperse protesters. As a result, an officer and a conscript were injured, and damage was done to several trees and public amenities.

The ministry said all measures have been taken to identify and apprehend the “elements” involved in the clashes.

The 6 April Democratic Front issued a statement on Sunday saying: “[In Mahalla] we started and to Mahalla, where we heard the call for freedom in 2008, we return.”

According to the Ministry of Health, five people suffered injuries in Mahalla on Saturday, one in Fayoum, and 38 in Cairo. The ministry said there were no deaths or serious injuries.

In Alexandria, protesters gathered outside the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters carrying banners depicting victims of the revolution such as Khaled Said. According to the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) spokesperson Mohamed Soudan, people attacked the headquarters using Molotov cocktails, rocks, small arms, and sticks. “Young people belonging to the socialists, the communists, and maybe the Al-Dostour Party attacked our headquarters,” Soudan claimed, adding that members of the Brotherhood were present to protect their building and nearby buildings.

“[The protesters] destroyed many things and insisted on destroying the Brotherhood headquarters,” Soudan said. Police eventually appeared and fired teargas at protesters.

In Sharqeya, skirmishes between protesters and security forces broke out after protesters advanced towards President Mohamed Morsi’s home. Protesters chanted against the Brotherhood and the president and were met with teargas.

In Mansoura hundreds of April 6 Youth Movement members marched on the police station. Protesters were beset by unknown assailants who the group says attempted to disperse the protesters using weapons. The ensuing clashes left several people injured according to the movement.

Similar protests also occurred in Qena and Tanta.

In the North Sinai governorate on Saturday a march stopped in front of the FJP headquarters in El-Arish, organized by the 6 April Youth Movement.

Protesters in Al-Arish called for the fall of the Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide and the government led by Prime Minister Hesham Qandil. According to a statement released by April 6 in Northern Sinai, protesters led chants calling for the dismissal of the Prosecutor General, amnesty for prisoners of conscience, the release of all detainees and prisoners in Sinai, and an end to trials in absentia.

The statement also said members of the Brotherhood present showed restraint and were silent in the face of the large crowd.

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