Bloodshed in Egypt, Syria leaves many dead
CAIRO / DAMASCUS
Egyptian protesters lynch a man who they accused of attacking them in the Abbassiya district of Cairo. At least 20 people were killed when attackers stormed an anti-military protest near the defense ministry in Cairo, medics and a security official say. AFP photoSome 20 people were killed and more than 160 wounded near Egypt’s Defense Ministry yesterday, after armed men assaulted protesters demanding an end to army rule.
State-run MENA reported that unidentified “thugs” armed with guns and batons attacked demonstrators, who included hundreds of ultraconservative Salafi Islamists protesting the exclusion of their candidate from this month’s presidential vote. The violence casts a deep shadow over the presidential election due on May 23 and 24, with a run-off in June, and further highlights the fragility of Egypt’s transition to democracy.
Meanwhile, Syria’s army yesterday suffered its deadliest day since the fragile U.N.-brokered cease-fire came into effect, with rebel fighters killing 20 troops. The rebels killed 15 soldiers in a dawn ambush in the
northern province of Aleppo, while clashes near Damascus killed six troops. Rebel fighters were also reported to have died in both clashes.