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Egypt: Tahrir Square Burning

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

Egypt's Military Police set Cairo's Tahrir Square ablaze and forcefully pushed away protesters demonstrating outside the Cabinet on the first anniversary of the Arab revolution, sparked by the self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia. Egypt's netizens are on hand to provide witness accounts of what is happening on the ground now.

The battle #OccupyCabinet has been raging for two days: eight people have been killed and more than 300 injured as the military attacked protesters who have been camping outside the Cabinet headquarters in Cairo for the past three weeks, protesting against the military appointment of Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal El Ganzouri as the new Prime Minister earlier this month.

El Ganzouri just gave a press conference, stressing that the army would not attack peaceful protesters. Minutes later, a full offensive was waged on the protesters, pushing them away from the cabinet and clearing and burning Tahrir Square. Netizens report their witness accounts live on Twitter as I type.

OneRevolution tweets:

@nagoul1: A massacre is taking place in #Tahrir right #now! #egypt #NoScaf #MediaBlackout

And screams:

@Nagoul1: We lost the square! #Tahrir #Egypt #NoScaf

He explains:

@nagoul1: The army used live ammunition to disperse #tahrir protesters -forcing them back away from cabinet buiding to the mddle of the square.

And pinpoints his vantage point:

@nagoul1: I am three blocks away from where the action is. It was very loud.

On Twitter, Sharif Khaddous shares this image from Tahrir Square now and explains:

Sharif kouddous shares this picture of tahrir square minutes ago on twitter

Sharif Kouddous shares this picture of Tahrir Square minutes ago on Twitter

@sharifkouddous: Groups of soldiers roaming square. Some people getting beaten randomly. Tents burning. Tahrir looks like a war zone

The journalist adds:

@sharifkouddous: Army soldiers just came into apartment we are at and took cameras from us

As usual, journalists have not been spared in this attack on protesters. Hayat Al Yamani tweets that her colleagues from Al Jazeera Mubashar have been arrested too.

الشرطة العسكرية قبضت على زمايلي من الجزيرة مباشر مصر اللي كانوا بيصورو الفجر

: The Military Police have arrested my colleagues at Al Jazeera Mubasher Egypt who were filming at dawn
الشرطة العسكرية داهمت المكان اللي كنا بنصور منه الفجر واخدوا المعدات وقابضين على 3من زمايلنا

: The Military Police broke into the place we were filming in at dawn and took our equipment and arrested three of my colleagues

Bel Trew is also on the scene, tweeting live. Here are some of his frantic tweets as the chaos unfolds:

@Beltrew: Tents on fire on the midan [Square]. Army everywhere and extremely violent. Can here bangs not sure if it's gunfire #tahrir a mess

@Beltrew: Protesters being chased down corniche running between the traffic. This is ridiculous #tahrir

And Adam Makary exclaims:

@adamakary: PM Ganzouri SAID violence will not be used on peaceful protesters just ten minutes ago #Egypt

And adds:

@adammakary: The military police have taken tahrir and qasr el aini - they've got it sealed from every rooftop and every road entrance. Painful images

And he shares this image too:

Tahrir burning. adam makary shares this image of tahrir burning on yfrog

Tahrir Burning. Adam Makary shares this image of Tahrir burning on yfrog

@adammakary: This is #tahrir now, I'm speechless #egypt #occupycabinet

He explains:

@adamakary: Military police setting every tent ablaze in their vicinity, bashing cars, everything.. anything #egypt

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

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