Dozens die, the cabinet teeters – and chaos rules

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Egypt's army is 'at war with the people' as riots flare again in Cairo

Cairo

The Egyptian cabinet offered its resignation last night as deadly riots, which once again have turned parts of central Cairo into a battlefield, continued into the evening, threatening the viability of next week's landmark elections and leaving at least 33 people dead.

Stone-throwing youths faced down riot police outside the American University of Cairo near Tahrir Square, as hundreds of protesters shouted chants calling for the downfall of Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Egypt's de facto leader.

As midnight approached last night, around 20,000 people packed Tahrir Square, and thousands more milled around in surrounding streets. The protesters won at least a partial victory after the civilian cabinet offered to resign, which followed the exit of Culture Minister Emad Abu Ghazi. A group of diplomats issued a statement condemning the way the latest protests have been handled.

In a late-night statement, the ruling military council urged calm and called for crisis talks with political forces to find a way forward, but did not say whether it would accept the resignation of the cabinet, tendered on Sunday. The council voiced its "deep regret for the victims in these painful incidents", state news agency Mena said.

Last night's trouble came after hours of bloody confrontations, which continued throughout the early hours of yesterday morning. Volunteer doctors working in makeshift field hospitals close to Tahrir Square struggled to cope as hundreds of badly injured activists were rushed back from the front lines.

One medic, Dr Haytham Magdy, said he had seen a protester whose face had been run over by a vehicle. "I think it must have been a military car," he said. "The bone in his face was badly broken."

At one point, the police appeared to fire live rounds in the direction of protesters, sending chunks of brick spinning off a block of apartments. A group of five activists could then be seen rushing down a dark back-alley carrying a limp middle-aged man, a stream of blood pouring from the left side of his mouth.

Dr Magdy also said he had seen one dead body, of a person who appeared to have been hit by a live bullet directly through the spleen. The authorities have denied using live ammunition.

"All we're asking for is our freedom," said Hassan Hani, a 20-year-old who was demonstrating in the square, the scene of violent clashes earlier in the year that eventually led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.

The chain of violence began on Saturday morning when a small group of a few dozen activists were arrested and beaten after they spent the night in Tahrir Square. Disturbing footage has since been uploaded on to the internet showing troops and police violently beating a man who appeared to have already been unconscious. Another showed an apparently lifeless protester being dragged across the square and dumped next to a pile of other bodies.

Activists and NGOs have for months been accusing the military of abusing its position by using military courts to try civilians and prevaricating over the date of a presidential election.

An Amnesty report released yesterday claimed that Egypt's ruling generals had retrenched dictatorial power for their own ends and were guilty of "crushing" the February revolution.

Doubts and confusion are also swirling about the viability of parliamentary elections, which the ruling Military Council is still insisting will take place next week.

Some political parties have already suspended campaigning and are calling for a postponement. Shaheer George, from the liberal Freedom Egypt Party, said the poll should be delayed and called for the resignation of Egypt's Interior and Media ministers.

Full circle: From Tahrir Square to Tahrir Square

25 January

Egyptians march on the headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party in Cairo. The day ends with protesters chanting "Down with Mubarak" in Tahrir Square.

30 January

Thousands demonstrate against Hosni Mubarak and cheer when Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the UN nuclear agency, addresses the crowds: "What we started can never be pushed back."

10 February

Protesters react with fury in Tahrir Square when, amid rumours that he will quit, Mubarak goes on state television and again refuses to resign.

11 February

Wild celebrations take place as Mubarak resigns.

23 March

New military cabinet outlaws protests and strikes, threatening jail terms and fines of $100,000.

27 May

"Day of Anger" as tens of thousands again enter Tahrir Square. Protesters demand civilian trials, a new constitution and trials for those who killed protesters in January and February.

23 July

Violence breaks out after a speech by Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Egypt's interim military leader. Protesters clash at the Ministry of Defence.

3 August

Trial of Hosni Mubarak and his two sons opens in Cairo.

9 September

Some 3,000 protesters attack the Israeli embassy. The state of emergency is restored as the Israeli diplomatic staff are evacuated.

9 October

At least 25 Copts are killed during a protest against the military council. The demonstrations follow the burning of churches in Upper Egypt.

19 November

Less than two weeks before the scheduled elections are due to take place, protesters again return to Tahrir Square to demand a faster pace of reforms. By yesterday, at least 33 had been killed.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
Sport
Sean Abbott
cricketSean Abbott is named Australia's young cricketer of the year
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Partnership Sales Executive - TV

competitive + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: An award-winning global multi-media...

Sauce Recruitment: Account Director

£26017.21 - £32521.19 per annum + OTE $90,000: Sauce Recruitment: My client is...

Recruitment Genius: Linux Systems Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of UK Magento hosting so...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Development Manager - North Kent - OTE £19K

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea