Bloody clashes cloud Egypt vote
Egyptian soldiers arrest a woman protester wearing the Niqab during clashes.Egyptian troops clashed with Molotov cocktail-throwing protesters against military rule in Cairo Dec. 16, as the worst violence in weeks overshadowed the count in the second phase of a landmark general election.
At least 36 people were wounded as the soldiers repeatedly attempted to break up a sit-in outside the cabinet’s offices demanding an immediate transition to civilian rule, the official MENA news agency reported. The Anatolian News Agency reported 60 people wounded in the clashes and the military hired gangs to attack the protesters.
The clashes, which raged since dawn, were the bloodiest since five days of protests in November killed more than 40 people just ahead of Egypt’s first parliamentary elections. The violence erupted after a bloodied protester said he had been arrested by soldiers and beaten up, infuriating his comrades who began throwing stones at the soldiers, witnesses said. Protesters also threw Molotov cocktails as the clashes continued into the morning with troops and military police repeatedly charging at the crowd, AFP correspondents reported.
“The people demand the execution of the field marshal,” they chanted in reference to Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took over following Mubarak’s ouster.