Monday, December 19, 2011

Egyptian Military Continues Protest Crackdown

Despite protestations to the contrary from the military's appointed government officials, the bloody crackdown against protesters in Tahrir Square continues.
Police and military troops clashed Monday with protesters in Egypt's Tahrir Square, the symbolic center of the uprising that brought down President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year.

At least two protesters were killed, according to field doctor Ahmed Khalil, bringing the total number of dead in protests to 13 since Friday.

Hundreds of people were injured on both sides in the clashes, officials from the Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Health said.

At least 200 protesters were injured, mostly by live ammunition, Health Ministry spokesman Hisham Sheeha said.

About 100 security officers were wounded, Interior Ministry spokesman Gen. Marwan Mustapha said.
Monday was the fourth day that pro-democracy demonstrators battled Egyptian security, their anger stoked by images of a military police officer stomping on a woman's exposed stomach over the weekend.

A top general on the military council that runs Egypt blamed the violence on protesters, saying they had provoked the clashes.
The military continues a long tradition of controlling the reins of power behind the scenes that goes back to before Gamal Nasser rose to power. Anwar Sadat succeeded him, and upon Sadat's assassination, Hosni Mubarak came to power. While there's a veneer of democracy supposed by elections, the military is the ultimate arbiter here. The leader of Egypt has come from the military - each enjoying the support and authority vested by the military.

The protests against Mubarak eventually convinced military leaders that Mubarak had to go, and while the military claims that they are intent upon establishing a democratic transition, the military isn't letting go of the controls it once again firmly holds. Things may once again get even more violent in Egypt than they are at present.

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