Update: Injured number increased in Cairo to 88, 10 of which in and around Tahrir and 78 in Itihadiya clashes
Clashes erupted in Cairo in front of the presidential palace and around Tahrir Square between protesters and Central Security Forces (CSF) on the eighth day of Egypt’s latest wave of anger, Friday, what some had called the “Friday of Deliverance”.
Marches around Cairo and other Egyptian governorates were called by the National Salvation Front (NSF) and 15 other opposition groups to demand the removal of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil, the implementation of amendments in the new constitution, and the appointments of a new prosecutor general.
Protesters chanted against President Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood, chanting for the President to “leave”, and repeating: “the people demand the fall of the regime.”
According to the Associated Press, about 6,000 protesters gathered around the presidential palace when clashes erupted. Reuters said at least 15 petrol bombs were thrown on one of the palace walls.
Police used tear gas and water cannons against protesters throwing Molotov cocktails. Clashes continued to escalate as both sides began throwing rocks towards each other.
The Ministry of Health said that 23 year-old Mohamed Hussein Korani died from gunshot wounds to the chest and head. The ministry announced that the number of injured in Friday’s clashes in Cairo had reached 82.
Twenty injured in and around Tahrir Square were transferred to the Al-Mounira, Al-Helal, Qasr Al-Eini and Ahmed Maher hospitals, while 62 injured near the presidential palace were transferred to Manshiat Al-Bakary, Heliopolis and other hospitals in Nasr City and Ain Shams.
Independent television channel Al-Hayat TV aired footage of a protester being stripped, beaten and then dragged across the ground by about a dozen CSF. The Ministry of Interior released a statement calling for a swift investigation into the incident, calling it “regrettable and unacceptable”.
President Mohamed Morsy issued a statement later blaming “political forces that may have contributed to incitement”. The president called for all political forces to condemn the violence and demanded those in front of the palace to leave immediately.
Morsy also said security forces would “act with the utmost decisiveness” to protect the palace and other state buildings.
The NSF denied any responsibility for the violence outside the Palace, and blamed Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood for sparking the frustration which led to such tensions.
The Ministry of Interior said it was fulfilling its role in responding to violence from protesters and it would continue to work to contain the situation. The ministry also denied using excessive force or live ammunition.
According to the statement released by Morsy, investigations into Palace clashes on Friday are already underway.
Additional reporting by Basil El-Dabh