Rival Factions Clash in Tahrir Square
Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and their opponents came to blows on October 12 in Tahrir Square. Thousands turned up to protest Morsi’s failure to keep campaign promises during his first 100 days in office. “We went to protest against the constituent assembly and Morsi’s failure in his 100 days, and Islamists prevented us and are now controlling the square,” said Islam Wagdy, 19, a member of a group set up by leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahy. ”What happened today was an attempt by the liberal powers … to prevent Islamists expressing their views and protesting in Tahrir, which belongs to all Egyptians and not to a certain current,” said FJP spokesman Ahmed Sobeih in response. The two sides continue to disagree over the shape of a new constitution.
Others lamented a court’s decision to acquit officials charged with ordering camel and horse attacks during last year’s revolution. Protesters voiced deep criticism of Abdel Maguid Mahmoud, a Mubarak-era prosecutor involved with the case. The demonstrations led to violence, the worst since Morsi’s election in June, injuring 11o people. Meanwhile, President Morsi’s attempt to remove Mahmoud by appointing him as ambassador to the Vatican ended in failure. Mahmoud returned to work on October 13 saying, “I occupy this office and I will defend myself…my position, and… the independence of the prosecutor general, and the independence of the judges, and I will not leave this office unless I am assassinated.”