Protesters mourn another death as clashes continue

Hundreds of protesters participated in the funeral of protester Fatehy Gharib Wednesday at Omar Makram Mosque in Tahrir Square.

Gharib, a member at the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, died on Tuesday after inhaling tear gas fired by security forces during clashes with demonstrators, said the party.

A report by the Health Ministry on the incident claimed that the death was the result of a heart attack, and a sharp drop in blood circulation.

The body arrived at the mosque on Wednesday afternoon, where hundreds were waiting to perform the funeral prayers.

They chanted, “O, martyr rest in peace, they are in hell and you're in heaven,” and “Down with the rule of the [Muslim Brotherhood Supreme] Guide.”

Security forces withdrew from the vicinity of the mosque to Simon Bolivar Square, southwest Tahrir Square, where they continued clashing with dozens of stone-throwing protesters.

Security forces used teargas canisters to scatter demonstrators, but clashes continued and reached the vicinity of the Semiramis Hotel by the Nile.

The Interior Ministry has denied reports that security forces attempted to clear Tahrir Square early Wednesday morning, saying it is committed to encouraging freedom of expression and peaceful protests.

In a statement on Wednesday, the ministry said it fired teargas because “rioters” prevented security forces from extinguishing fires around Simon Bolivar Square.  

“Rioters started fires early on Wednesday at the area surrounding Simon Bolivar Square. One of them was in a store on Qasr al-Doubara Street, another one on the top of a building facing Semiramis Hotel, while the third one broke out at the social center for talents at Qasr al-Doubara School,” the statement alleged.

“While firefighters were trying to reach the fires, some rioters intercepted and attacked them in an attempt to damage the water hoses,” the statement added. “Security services were forced to intervene and get them away using teargas, so firefighters could get to the fires and prevent them reach neighboring buildings. They were then able to extinguish the fires.”

“The ministry calls on representatives of political and revolutionary forces in Tahrir Square to attempt communication with protesters to prevent assault on public and private properties in the area,” the statement concluded.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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