Protesters Violently Attacked in Cairo

Pro-democracy demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square were violently attacked by people armed with machetes, knives, horsewhips, and Molotov cocktails, according to opposition forces and witnesses. The assaults, which occurred late Tuesday and continued into Wednesday, have left at least 140 injured. The activists were assaulted by gangs supporting the country’s security apparatus—a remnant of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. Gunshots were also reportedly heard in the square on Wednesday afternoon. Demonstrators are protesting Mubarak’s 30-year rule, a lack of free elections, high food prices, low wages, and unemployment. The recent assaults come on the heels of a violent clash Tuesday between Coptic Christians and Muslims in Cairo that left 13 dead, as well as a pro-women demonstration in Cairo on Tuesday that degenerated into a shouting match between the two sides.