A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cairo: The Battle of Abbasiyya

A day of clashes leaving multiple fatalities makes today probably the deadliest in Cairo since the first of the year, hardly a good omen for the Presidential elections. What began as a sit-in by supporters of disqalified Presidential candidate Hazem Abu Isma‘il near the Ministry of Defense has grown over the past several days into a series of clashes between demonstrators and baltagiya, the "thugs" of uncertain (but, the demonstrators believe, official) patronage, and today's clashes were lethal. Reports range from 11 dead (Ahram Online cited above, Al Jazeera English) to 20 dead (BBC). A mass demonstration in sympathy with those attacked was marching through Abbasiyya this afternoon.

There is already talk of moving the weekly demonstration in Tahrir Square to Abbasiyya. That could amount to an open confrontation with the military. Anger appears to be building once again, and the implications for the Presidential elections are unclear but may prove significant.

From Al Jazeera English:

No comments: