News24

Cairo calm again after deadly clashes

2012-05-05 11:00

Cairo - A Cairo district that witnessed deadly clashes between protesters and soldiers near the defence ministry was calm on Saturday after an overnight curfew.

Soldiers and armoured personnel carriers blocked off a road leading to the ministry after the curfew, imposed by the military following the intense clashes on Friday, ended at 05:00 GMT.

Hospital officials said two people were killed in the fighting between stone throwing anti-military protesters and the soldiers, who used birdshot and tear gas to disperse them.

The health ministry said one person, a soldier, was killed, and nearly 300 injured, including 131 treated in hospital.

The protesters had rallied to pressure the military just weeks before the first presidential election since a nationwide uprising toppled president Hosni Mubarak last year and left the military in power.

The ruling military council promised to hand power to the election winner by the end of June, but dissidents accuse it of wanting to remain in control from behind the scenes.

The protest had joined a sit-in by supporters of an Islamist candidate barred from standing in the election because his mother was a dual citizen, in violation of the electoral law.

The sit-in was attacked on Wednesday by men in plainclothes in a confrontation that left seven people dead, according to the health ministry.