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Sunday, July 24, 2011

231 injured in Cairo protest; Imam tells secularists to leave Egypt

How's that Arab Spring coming along?

From Al Masry al Youm:
At least 143 peoplewere injured in Cairo’s Abbasseya district on Saturday when thousands of demonstrators fought opponents with stones after marching to the Defense Ministry to urge their military rulers to speed up reforms, the Health Ministry said.

Central Security and military forces cordoned protesters in Abbasseya, while residents threw stones and molotov cocktails at them.

About 5000 people marched from Tahrir Square to the Ministry of Defense headquarters in Abbasseya to demand the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which has been ruling the country since February, set up a clear timetable for handing power to an elected civilian government.

A protester told Al-Masry Al-Youm that at least two activists, Amr Gharbeia and Alya el-Husseiny, were kidnapped by a group of thugs.

“We heard that the thugs are going to hand in the two activists to a police station near Abbasseya,” he said. Al-Masry Al-Youm could not independently verify the claims.

Military forces fired shots in the air to disperse protesters as they reached the area. People in the area threw stones at protesters, which injured scores of them.
The number of injured rose to 231 later in the evening.

Meanwhile, an imam called all Egyptian secularists to leave the country:
Arguments broke out between Jama'a al-Islamiya members, Salafis and others at the Fateh Mosque on Friday over the shape of the future Egyptian state.

Jama'a al-Islamiya members drove those defending a secular state out of the mosque at the end of the argument.

Abdallah Darwish, the mosque's imam, criticized proponents of the secular state, saying they should leave the country if they do not want it to be an Islamic one that adopts Islamic law. “Grow that secular seed outside Egypt. Since we were young, we have learned that this is an Islamic state.”