Violence broke out on July 23, Egypt's National Day, when Egyptian demonstrators staged a march from Tahrir Square to the Ministry of Defense compound in Abbasiyya. Though soldiers and security police sealed off the compound, the demonstrators were attacked by baltagiyya, the "thugs" who keep appearing \in tense situations and are generally armed with sticks or knives. An Al-Masry al-Youm video shows the march and subsequent clashes:
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) communique 69 had explicitly criticized the April 6 Movement, which led the Saturday march, and subsequently expressed its thanks to those citizens "who formed a cordon" to protect the Defense Ministry in communique 70.
Increasingly, the demonstrators are chanting against SCAF and Field Marshal Tantawi, while the Army is talking increasingly tough. Many are comparing the clashes over the weekend to the "Battle of the Camel" on February 2, when Mubarak supporters on horseback and camelback (brought from the Pyramids) attacked the encampment in Tahrir.
Another sign of the growing tension: when talk-show host Dina Abdel-Rahman defended a writer who had criticized a member of SCAF, she was summarily fired.
With elections approaching, concerns about the military's willingness to hand over power are naturally growing. The tensions over the weekend have raised the heat considerably.