The Egyptian capital is bracing for a fresh "March of millions" with the slogan “Last chance”. But there is a fine line between peaceful protests and chaos as thousands make their way to Tahrir Square ahead of the sit-in, as RT’s Paula Slier reports.
Fears of violence are growing at Tahrir Square. The usual 20 to 30 thousand people are expected, and Muslim Brotherhood supporters are also coming to the site. Protesters are chanting “The people are one”. There are also counter-demonstration protesters expected who support the status quo, and if they march later, confrontations seem inevitable. Ambulances are already screeching and doctors in makeshift clinics are tending the injured.
The RT correspondent notes in her Twitter feed that it is becoming more difficult to walk around Tahrir as a foreign journalist.
Protesters in the square, seething over the military’s perceived failings over the past nine months, say they will not leave the iconic plaza until the generals step down in favor of a civilian presidential council.
Egypt’s military rulers rejected protester demands for them to step down and said on Thursday they would start the first round of parliamentary elections on time next week.
A former associate of Egypt’s ousted President Hosni Mubarak has reportedly accepted a request from ruling generals, to become prime minister and form a new cabinet. It comes after the military council apologized for the deaths of more than 40 protesters, killed in a week of fierce clashes.
RT’s correspondent quotes morgue officials saying at least 22 Egyptians have been killed by live bullets since street battles began on Saturday. Doctors say many of the dead were killed with a single shot to the head – cases where bullets came from above, which suggests snipers. Human rights groups say it is irrelevant who fired live rounds – the army or police: what matters is, who gave the order to shoot.
Three people were reportedly killed in street battles on Wednesday as clashes between protesters and police near Tahrir Square flared with new intensity. Cops used military-grade tear gas to disperse the crowd and fired rubber bullets.
Some reports suggest that live ammunition was also used.
However, earlier Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) rejected charges of firing live ammunition at the protesters, but said that all violations of human rights would be addressed and those responsible held to account.