Saturday, February 5, 2011

Activists block tanks from entering Tahrir Square

Opposition activists formed a human chain outside one of the entrances to Tahrir Square on Saturday afternoon to prevent two Egyptian military tanks from crossing through barricades into what has effectively become an anti-Mubarak enclave in the heart of the Egyptian capital.

An eyewitness said scuffles broke out after an army general asked demonstrators to take down their makeshift barricades of corrugated steel and debris, which were built up during 48 hours of bloody fighting with regime supporters next to Cairo's landmark Egyptian Museum.

"This general went through the barricades, they [the soldiers] knocked down some barricades on the way to the museum, which caused some panic and scuffling," said photographer Ron Haviv. "When he did it all chaos broke loose."

Haviv said that initial tension was defused after the Egyptian army officer began negotiating with medics who have established a first aid station for wounded combatants just behind the first line of barriers.

"He is still talking to doctors at the clinic," Haviv said. "He is asking them to remove the clinic."

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