Dozens were injured after clashes broke out in front of the US Embassy between opposing protest groups late Friday.
One group, said to represent the protesters of Tahrir, clashed with a group of supporters of the TV personality and former parliamentary candidate Tawfiq Okasha.
Both sides threw rocks, with some soldiers stationed in front of the Embassy joining the Okasha supporters. Army forces blocked off the street to the nearby British Embassy. The sound of birdshot gunfire was also heard.
The Okasha supporters had been protesting in front of the embassy demanding the expulsion of US Ambassador Ann Patterson and an end to U.S. aid to the country.
Popular sentiment towards the U.S. has taken a dive in recent weeks after the workers of two US government funded NGOs who were under trial for illegally receiving foreign funds and working in the country without a license, were allowed to travel without a conclusion to the case.
The NGO crisis had put in danger the US$ 1.3 billion aid package that the Egypt military receives yearly from the United States. Many suspect that a diplomatic deal was behind the NGO’s workers’ release.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm.