Chaos in Egypt Escalates

Posted: January 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

The Egyptian security officials have released a statement saying that the Egyptian police have placed Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei under house arrest. Police have been stationed outside his Cairo home and have told him he cannot leave the house. This comes in the wake since he joined tens of thousands of protestors in the capital.

Last Thursday ElBaradei returned to Egypt after a month away and quickly declared that he was ready to lead the protestors onwards to a change of regime.

Tens of thousands of protestors poured onto the streets of Egypt in the past few days throwing rocks and confronting the police in violent clashes. The police have retaliated against the demonstrators firing rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowds. These protestors are the most violent and chaotic scenes yet to be seen to challenge the rule of President Hosni Mubarak who has been in power for 30 years.

At least six venues in Cairo have been used by thousands of protestors, some of whom were seen chanting “Out! Out! Out!.” Clashes with police were sparked as demonstrators marched on some of the city’s major landmarks. Security officials have released statements saying that protests occurred in at least 11 of the country’s 28 provinces.

The protests began on Tuesday demanding that Murbarak remove himself from command. The demonstrators vented their anger at years of government neglect on issues such as poverty, unemployment and the rising price of food. Officials have said that protesters have ransacked the headquarters of Mubarak’s ruling party in the cities of Mansoura north of Cairo and Suez, east of the capital.

The government has cut off internet and cell phone services early on Friday. The internet social sites of Facebook and Twitter have also seen interruptions.

“It’s time for this government to change,” said Amal Ahmed, a 22-year-old protester. “I want a better future for me and my family when I get married.”

Some demonstrators have said that the uprising in Tunisia has emboldened them to take action. It appears that America, Egypts closest western ally, may be losing faith in Mubarak as they urge him to introduce reforms and refrain from ordering violence to be used against the protestors.

Police have been reported as firing a water cannon at one of the country’s biggest advocates for democratic reform. Mohamed ElBaradei was targeted along with his supporters as they protested after noon prayers. Police also used batons to beat some of ElBaradei’s supporters who had surrounded their leader in order to protect him.

AlBaradei was then trapped inside a mosque as hundreds of riot police surrounded it and laid siege to the mosque, firing tear gas so no one could leave. Several cars were set alight outside the mosque and numerous people fainted and suffered burns.

“We are the ones who will bring change,” said 21-year-old Ahmed Sharif, one of the supporters with ElBardei. “If we do nothing, things will get worse. Change must come!”

Protestors were allowed to march across on bridge before being halted by lines of Egyptian police. Protestors clashed with the police and fierce fighting ensued as demonstrators threw rocks and tear gas at the police.

Several demonstrators were seen to fall with what appeared to be buckshot wounds, other protestors were seen to carry other demonstrators who were bleeding and unconscious before they were driven away to hospital.

Similar skirmishes occurred Ramsis and Tahrir squares in the heart of the city between the police and protestors.

Television footage showed protesters were throwing rocks onto police officers from a highway overpass, while a police vehicle sped through the crowd spraying tear gas onto the demonstrators.

The President has not been seen publicly, or heard from since Tuesday when the protests first began. No concessions have yet been released by the government.

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