2011-10-10 Egyptian army clashes with Christian protesters: at least 24 dead and hundreds wounded

A real massacre took place yesterday at Maspiro district of downtown Cairo. There at least 24 dead and 300 wounded as the army attacked a demonstration of Copts (native Egyptian Christians), who were protesting after another one of their churches was burnt down in Assawn. The community demands accountability for those responsible of yet another intolerant attack against them. They are also aware that the authorities did not do anything to protect the church, although they were warned about the threat of violence.


The march started out peacefully, however, according to Al-Jazeera, anonymous people started pelting them with rocks and other objects from windows above. Tension rose gradually until a fight broke out upon reaching the location of the State TV. The army responded brutally: hundreds of shots were fired and tanks stormed into the heart of the demonstration. Two of these, along with other vehicles, were set on fire, with both sides sustaining injuries. The reports that many were killed after being deliberately run over by army vehicles are confirmed by this video:

There are also reports that later on, the riots continued around Tahrir square, where many young people (both Christians and Muslims) who were around Borsa district joined the Copts in their fighting against the army and the old Mubarak ‘thugs’ (civilian criminals who help security forces against protesters). At this point the spontaneous demonstration is reported to have chanted: "Christians and Muslim united".

In an interview with Hossam Bahgat, the founder and director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, he confirms the unprecedented fact that there were many Muslims present from the beginning in a gesture of solidarity. He also seems to suggest that yesterday's events might be a turning point for the political life of Egypt. It is the first time that the army commits such a massacre. Until now it was police, representative of the Ministry of Interior, who were responsible for acts of violence. This might be a sign that the revolution of January 25 is at its decisive point: either the popular movement will be able to impose a real civil democracy, or the ruling Supreme Command of Armed Forces (SCAF) will find a way to close the independent space opened in Tahrir square. This is worsened by the fact that many believe the army is trying to promote chaos in order to legitimize its intervention and the freezing of the democratic revolutionary process. As some suggest, the SCAF has definitely lost it’s credibility as ‘guardian of the revolution’, who wanted to assure a peaceful democratic transition, after actively engaging in violence against the population.

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