Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes continue as thousands flock to Tahrir

Rana Allam
3 Min Read
"Down with the Pharaoh president", reads a sign held in Tahrir during protests against President Morsy's latest decree. Photo by Hassan Ibrahim/DNE


“Down with the Pharaoh president”, reads a sign held in Tahrir during protests against President Morsy’s latest decree. Photo by Hassan Ibrahim/DNE

Clashes in Mohamed Mahmoud Street have entered their fifth day as protesters in the thousands make there way to Tahrir Square in a number of marches.

The defiant but peaceful atmosphere in Tahrir contrasted with the battle going on in Mohamed Mahmoud Street just metres away.

Troops from the Central Security Forces, a riot control force overseen by the Ministry of Interior are stationed in the rooftops and upper floors of Al-Horreya French school and the American University in Cairo (AUC), throwing rocks on protesters in the street below them.

Police are also spraying water and firing tear gas canisters at protesters.

The protestors were largely divided into two groups on Friday morning. Hundreds of young men, most in their late teens or early twenties, focused their efforts on the policemen barricaded inside AUC, throwing rocks and being sprayed with high pressure hoses in return.

A smaller group of young boys, not more than 20, threw rocks at the police in the lycée who responded in kind, or with the occasional tear gas canister.

Being stationed above the street, the police in both the lycée and AUC were largely safe from the thrown rocks.

After a particularly potent volley of tear gas was fired from the rooftop of the lycée, the young boys retreated, although they returned later joined the larger group by AUC.

Protesters chanted constantly against President Mohamed Morsy and the police, demanding the former step down.

As the numbers in Tahrir grew, so did those in Mohamed Mahmoud, and protesters battled police and plain-clothed men stationed on the rooftops into the afternoon.

Protesters occasionally threw fireworks and Molotov cocktails, attempting to set the lycée alight without success.

The battle between protesters and the police in Mohamed Mahmoud Street has been ongoing since 19 November when thousands gathered to commemorate the anniversary and victims of clashes that took place in the street last year.

So far there have been hundreds of injuries and one protester, Gaber Salah Gaber, a member of the April 6 Youth Movement and Al-Dostour Party, has been declared brain dead after sustaining shotgun wounds to the neck and head. 

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