Mubarak supporters clash with protesters

February 3, 2011

By Theresa McCabe

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Tensions between Egyptian government supporters and protesters have turned into violence on Wednesday as the groups clashed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

A struggle between opposing groups has broken out in the nation’s capital city, less than a day after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced he will not run for re-election in the fall.

Both groups, each made up of about 20,000 people, have lashed out in the square, throwing rocks and attacking each other with metal bars, according to reports.

CNN reports members of the Egyptian Army were believed to be entering Tahrir Square, and military vehicles were separating pro- and anti-Mubarak demonstrators.

Some reports speculate that the pro-Mubarak group was organized by security officials, and Egyptian authorities sparked the violent clashes in the square in order to necessitate Mubarak’s control over the situation. The government is denying any involvement.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the opposition leader, said he had heard government supporters were sending men to Tahrir Square to attack protesters, the Wall Street Journal reports.

As night falls in Egypt Wednesday, chaos and panic continue to grip Cairo, the nation’s capital, as rioters set fire to buildings in Tahrir Square.

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