Tags: egypt mubarak protests

Mubarak Supporters' Arrival Appears Orchestrated

Wednesday, 02 Feb 2011 10:03 AM


CAIRO - The Egyptian army called Wednesday for an end to the massive demonstrations that have shaken President Hosni Mubarak's grip on power, and the mood turned ominous as the anti-government crowds were confronted by angry Mubarak supporters in what appeared to be an orchestrated campaign, The Washington Post reports.

The two sides threw rocks and chunks of cement at each other, with several people injured and some bleeding profusely. Just before 3 p.m. (8 a.m. in Washington), dozens of pro-Mubarak riders on horseback and camelback charged into Tahrir Square and began to beat anti-government demonstrators with whips and clubs.

For the first two hours, the army troops posted around the square did not intervene in the mayhem. But just before 4:30 p.m. local time, security forces fired tear gas at the crowds, CNN reported.

The peaceful, carnival-like atmosphere that prevailed in Tahrir Square during Tuesday's massive demonstrations gave way Wednesday to a tense, charged standoff between pro-democracy demonstrators and thousands of Mubarak supporters, many of whom who had been bused in in what appeared to be an orchestrated campaign.

Busloads of government supporters reportedly clashed with anti-government demonstrators in Alexandria, Egypt's second-largest city, as well.

As the pro-Mubarak crowd in Tahrir Square surged toward the demonstrators, the demonstrators pushed back. Soldiers posted around the square initially took no action, but eventually fired tear gas. The checkpoints that had been used to screen anti-government protesters arriving at the square in recent days were no longer in use.



Read the entire story at washingtonpost.com


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