“The armed forces show sorrow, denial, condemnation; they accuse and question but do not give answers,” reads a headline in privately owned Al-Shorouk, which is dissatisfied over conflicting statements being made by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).
SCAF member General Adel Emara said an unidentified third party unhappy with the results of the recent People's Assembly elections is involved in the clashes that have taken place over the last five days near Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo.
Al-Shorouk reports that after political forces met at El Sawy Culture Wheel, they issued a statement blaming the SCAF for the recent violence and asserting that whoever gave orders to attack protesters should be put on trial.
Calling on the media to show integrity in its reporting, Emara boasted that military forces are heroes who have shown self-control to such an extent that “everyone should envy us,” Al-Shorouk continues. Emara admitted the military was at fault in the beating of an Egyptian woman whose abaya, a long traditional robe worn by women in Muslim countries, was torn off — an image that in the last few days has become infamous in Egypt and around the world.
But Emara defended the soldiers involved, saying “the circumstances were difficult.” He even threatened to expel a journalist from the press conference, the report adds.
“Plan to burn down the parliament building and complaints to the public prosecutor show chaos is escalating,” warns state-run Al-Ahram in Tuesday's top headline.
Al-Ahram focuses on attacks on buildings around the country, with Emara describing attacks on building and military forces as a “red line that cannot be crossed.” Emara attempted to reinforce his point by showing videos of revolutionaries and political activists attempting to break into the parliament building, as well as children and thugs admitting to accepting money in return for throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks at security forces and destroying public property.
“Some political alliances have called to halt the protests,” Al-Ahram reports, though it notes that others — including the Egyptian Bloc, Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), and Revolution Continues Coalition — staged protests in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court.
Al-Ahram further sensationalizes the SCAF's statement, by quoting “an official source” as saying that businessmen, members of political parties, and former members of parliament are behind the fighting.
Privately owned Al-Tahrir's front page leads with a story about former President Hosni Mubarak, whose health is reportedly improving. According to an anonymous source, after viewing the fighting near Qasr al-Aini Street on a television, Mubarak remarked to his wife, Suzanne, “I told them the country would fall apart if I left.”
The upper-left side of Al-Tahrir's front page reprints a statement from the SCAF press conference: “I smell Tora prison's involvement. I won't deny the attack on the girl but I understand why it happened. We didn't order the attack.” Many figures from the deposed Mubarak regime are currently being held in Tora prison in Maadi.
On the bottom of the page, Al-Tahrir runs a statement emerging from a meeting of unspecified revolutionary youths, “The SCAF is the leader of the anti-revolution: soldiers meant to attack and undress the girl; soldiers used live ammunition and chased protesters; soldiers attacked journalists in hotels.”
With editorializing headlines, Al-Tahrir reports on army misconduct in the fighting near Tahrir Square, dedicating its page two to women who have been attacked.
Al-Tahrir Editor-in-Chief Ibrahim Eissa takes on the building of concrete walls at the corner of Sheikh Rihan and Qasr al-Aini streets. “Whenever a problem arises, they build a fence,” he says in reference to the ruling SCAF.
Party-run Al-Wafd has an interesting taking on the newly built walls, running a feature on page 15 about the history of famous walls around the world. The feature cites the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, the 1967 Sinai armistice line between Egypt and Israel, and the current wall that has been built by Israel around the West Bank.
Not forgetting the elections, though, the party-run Al-Wafd and Freedom and Justice papers devote most of their coverage to just that. Freedom and Justice reports they won 47 seats in the initial voting, and face run-offs in all nine governorates being contested in the second round. An article on page 10 questions the Nour Party's victory over FJP candidates in some areas, which “was not expected.”
Al-Shorouk reports more on this conflict, saying the Brotherhood's Guidance Bureau has called on Brotherhood youths to exercise calm in dealing with disagreements with Salafis over the elections.
Al-Wafd, meanwhile, reports that it won 15 seats in the second round.