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Monday, October 10, 2011

Violence flares in Egypt 

Reports out of Cairo indicate there have been violent clashes between Egyptian demonstrators and the Egyptian army. Government sources told Stratfor that demonstrators outside the state television station began firing on soldiers patrolling the area, and that two soldiers were reported dead and twenty-five wounded. Statfor goes on to note, "the military now has an opportunity to use the incident to justify an increased crackdown..."

Conflicting reports from the BBC indicate that plainclothes state policemen instigated violence with peacefully marching Coptic Christians. They say the violence began outside the state TV building and quickly spread to Tahrir Square, where there were reports of thousands joining in the street violence, attacking both sides. Rioters tore up the pavement and hurled stones.

The BBC says that the march was to protest against an attack on a church in Aswan and that many of those who were injured were protesters not soldiers. The Copts make up about 10% of the population of Egypt. The governing military junta has been lenient on, and possibly even tacitly encouraged, the perpetrators of a string of anti-Christian attacks. Reports of protesters in Cairo being crushed by military vehicles have further heightened tensions.

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