A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Battle of Qasr al-‘Aini: Another Bloody Friday in Cairo

Last night and today central Cairo has seen another bloody battle between protesters and the military and security forces, coming in the wake of a relatively quiet second round of elections. The various accounts of how the clashes broke out are conflicting, but the military's attempt to break up a three-week-old "Occupy the Cabinet" encampment was the spark, and there are lots of videos showing soldiers throwing rocks from balconies at the demonstrators (left), etc. At least two are confirmed dead and some buildings are said to be afire.

Timelines through the day can be found at Ahram Online, at Al-Masry al-Youm, and at Al Jazeera English, firsthand descriptions from Issandr El Amrani, from Marc Lynch, who was there for the elections, and from Zeinobia. You can find a lot of video from the day here and here, as well as those I've included below.

Though there's clearly a disconnect between the peaceful handling of elections throughout the  country and the violent clashes on Qasr al-‘Aini street around the Cabinet building, it's clear that the pressure on the military council is likely to continue. I'll post on the weekend if developments seem to require comment.

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