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Protesters, residents clash in Cairo

From Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, For CNN
Protesters clash with loyalists of the ruling military council outside the defence ministry in Cairo on July 23.
Protesters clash with loyalists of the ruling military council outside the defence ministry in Cairo on July 23.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 25 people are admitted to area hospitals, the health ministry spokesman says
  • Another 120 were treated on the scene for minor injuries, he adds
  • Protesters were marching to the defense ministry when clashes with residents broke out
  • They are upset at what they see as the slow pace of reform
RELATED TOPICS
  • Cairo
  • Egypt

Cairo (CNN) -- Protesters and residents clashed in Cairo's Abbasiya neighborhood Saturday, leaving at least two dozen people with injuries serious enough to be taken to area hospitals, a health ministry official said.

Another 120 people were treated on the scene for minor injuries, said Adel Al Aldawi, the health ministry spokesman.

Clashes broke out in Abbasiya as protesters, who have been camped out at Tahrir Square, marched to the defense ministry.

Demonstrators were upset at what they see as the slow pace of reform since onetime Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak was forced from office in February. They also say they want Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt's ruling military council, to resign.

Dozens of ambulances arrived on scene as protesters were attacked by residents and unidentified men wielding swords, sticks and knives. Security forces positioned themselves between the residents and protesters, who fought back with rocks.

"They are Tahrir thugs and my boy is out fighting them," said Mona Ahmed, a local resident, who was searching for her son.

Men in a pickup truck drove into the crowd and began distributing Molotov cocktails. Another man pulled out a gun and shot several rounds into the air.

"Army officers were standing in between thugs orchestrating their attack and taking photos," said Ramy Shath, a protester and member of the January 25 Coalition. "The military started the propaganda war against the protesters labeling us thugs."

The group, named for the day anti-government protests began this year, has said its members will stay in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square until their demands for change are met.

A new Egyptian Cabinet was sworn in this week -- a move meant to mollify critics -- but the announcement did not go far enough to appease protesters.

Saturday's clashes ended when security forces fired tear gas and demonstrators began walking back to the square. As they marched, they chanted: "The people want to topple the Marshal Tantawi."

The clashes came the same day Egyptians marked the anniversary of their country's 1952 revolution.

 
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