Police Fire Tear Gas at Cairo Protesters
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Police fired tear gas to disperse crowds of demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Tuesday, as the country marked two years since 42 people were killed in protests against military rule.
Small groups of protesters clashed in the square on Tuesday, the focal point for many protests over the last two years. It began when a group of anti-military rule demonstrators charged into the square and displaced a group of pro-military rule protesters. Police then fired tear gas to disperse the rival groups.
Earlier, masked men defaced a memorial dedicated to demonstrators killed during Egypt's revolution two years ago, which was unveiled only hours earlier in the square by the interim government, Al Jazeera reported.
Attackers damaged the large foundation stone and sprayed it with red graffiti denouncing as "betrayers" the head of the army, General Abdel Fatah el-Sisi, and Mohammed Mursi, the Muslim Brootherhood-backed president removed by the army in July, and his predecessor, the military autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt's revolutionary groups were to later mark the second anniversary of some of the fiercest confrontations between protesters and security forces on Mohammed Mahmoud Street, off Tahrir square. Clashes there in 2011 and 2012 killed at least 45 people.
Egypt was ruled by the military autocrat Mubarak from 1981 until 2011, when he was toppled in a popular revolution. Mursi became president in Egypt's first democratc elections in 2012, but was toppled by the army this year on the back of popular protest against his rule. The army, led by el-Sisi, then installed an interim government with the promise of democratic elections.
Security forces have killed hundreds of members of the Brotherhood movement since Mursi was toppled. Thousands have been arrested, including top leaders of the Brotherhood.