In pictures: Cairo protests continue

Demonstrations in the nation's capital maintain pressure on the military government as elections loom in under a week.


    It has been 10 months since the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, but those in Tahrir Square this week are experiencing an eerie repeat of the January uprisings: Bloody and sometimes deadly clashes with riot police, clouds of tear gas, thousands of injuries, and speeches from a ruler who appears at least days behind the pulse of the street.

    As Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Egypt's interim military ruler, gave a highly anticipated address touching on the political turmoil on Tuesday evening, riot police continued to rapid fire tear gas canisters at protesters.

    In response to demands that the military council (Security Council of Armed Forces) cease running the country, Tantawi suggested the matter be decided in a public referendum - which drew widespread criticism from politicians and activists.

    After news of Tantawi's speech spread through Tahrir, people chanted, "Leave, leave".

    On one street, a crowd of young football fans called Ultras marched and lit fireworks. Soon after, a riot police truck moved toward the crowd, firing repeated rounds of tear gas.

    The chants of January echo, but this time with a different target. People are now chanting, "Tantawi, you coward, the people are waiting for you in the Square".

    1) Tahrir Square itself has remained mostly calm while riot police and mostly young boys continue to face off -- rocks vs tear gas and ammunition -- down the alleys and streets adjacent to it [Shadi Rahimi/Al Jazeera]


    2) An ecstatic crowd cheered and chanted on Tuesday as a defected military officer waved the Egyptian flag from a balcony above Tahrir. Some former military officers have joined demonstrations against the government this week, as was seen during the first protests in January [Shadi Rahimi/Al Jazeera]


    3) Women waited on Tuesday to donate blood at a minibus parked in Tahrir Square. Requests for medical and other supplies are being tweeted at #Tahrirneeds [Shadi Rahimi/Al Jazeera]


    4) Young women and a few men cut and shape pieces of mesh into eye guards to protect protestors from the pellets that have reportedly blinded at least six [Shadi Rahimi/Al Jazeera]


    5) Mohamed Mahmoud Street is the main street of the most injurious confrontations, where police have been shooting tear gas canisters into large crowds, creating stampedes, since Saturday night [Shadi Rahimi/Al Jazeera]


    6) Many say the tear gas being used is more harsh than that used during the early days of the revolution, and some medics have told reporters it may have led to some deaths [Shadi Rahimi/Al Jazeera]


    7) Riot police continued to fire tear gas at protestors on Tuesday night as Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the interim ruler, gave a speech addressing the political turmoil [Shadi Rahimi/Al Jazeera]


    8) On Wednesday, pellets were found lodged within metal and wooden materials protestors had used as shields to protect them from police shooting rubber coated steel bullets, pellets and live ammunition [Shadi Rahimi/Al Jazeera]

    9) At around 3pm on Wednesday, protestors walked along Mohamed Mahmoud Street and picked up empty tear gas canisters and pellet casings as souvenirs from the previous night's street battles [Shadi Rahimi/Al Jazeera]

    10) Protestors continued to chant and rally on Wednesday during an hour-long lull in shooting and rock throwing. During the Revolution, the people had chanted, "The people and the army are in one hand". Now, they chant, "The police and army are one hand" [Shadi Rahimi/Al Jazeera]

    11) Boys and men used the same materials that had protected them from bullets and tear gas canisters the night before to sweep rocks and trash off of the streets [Shadi Rahimi/Al Jazeera]

    12) Near the interior ministry on Wednesday, protestors rallied inches from the faces of military soldiers and military police, who stood in front of tanks. Their stated purpose was to protect the ministry from protestors, who are also angered by the military's lack of defense on their behalf [Shadi Rahimi/Al Jazeera]


    13) A Youtube video circulating online shows riot police acknowledging this officer shooting a protestor in the eye. The officer's personal information is now circulating online, with offers of 5,000 Egyptian Pounds ($833) for his capture [Shadi Rahimi/Al Jazeera]


    14) The streets leading to Tahrir Square remained coated with clouds of tear gas late on Wednesday, a stinging presence that was carried blocks away by a light breeze [Shadi Rahimi/Al Jazeera]


    15) Student doctors and volunteer medics worked through Wednesday night to treat the injured. Medics are reporting convulsions related to tear gas exposure, and some have been linking it to deaths [Shadi Rahimi/Al Jazeera]

    Shadi Rahimi is an independent journalist who has written for the New York Times and New America Media. Follow her work at

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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