At least 11 people were killed in the Egyptian capital in clashes outside the Defence Ministry between protesters and armed men whom they said suddenly attacked them.
For hours the security forces seemed unable or unwilling to put an end to the violence.
The demonstrators were demanding an end to army rule and are angry that an ultraorthadox Salafi sheikh has been barred from running in the forthcoming presidential elections.
One protester described what happened: “ I was with a friend when suddenly a thug appeared shot at him and killed him – he died at my feet.”
Another protester appeared bewildered : “We are all revolutionaries and we were part of the revolution to bring down the regime but the regime hasn’t fallen. Nothing has changed and while there are these armed thugs there never will be true change. Where are these people coming from and why are they attacking us?”
Our reporter Riadh Muasas in Cairo said:
“The clashes continued in Abbassyia Square for some time and protesters have accused the military council of trying to sabotage the presidential elections due to be held at the end of this month.”