Clashes continued between mostly teenage protesters and Central Security Forces (CSF) in several streets leading to Tahrir Square on Wednesday.
Protesters threw rocks at CSF located in Omar Makram and Simon Bolivar streets, while security forces responded by firing tear gas at them. While CSF did not enter the Tahrir Square, tear gas they fired reached the centre of the square by 8am.
The funeral of Fathy Gharieb, a member of Socialist People’s Alliance Party, was held in Tahrir Square on Wednesday. Gharieb died after inhaling tear gas during Tuesday’s mass protest in Tahrir. The funeral marched from Omar Makram Mosque at 4 pm.
A sit-in in is also ongoing, attended by thousands who are demanding the cancellation of President Mohamed Morsy’s Thursday constitutional declaration.
Emad El-Naggar, a member of Al-Dostour party who was at the sit-in, said clashes intensified in the early hours of Wednesday morning, when CSF approached Tahrir Square from Simon Bolivar and Omar Makram streets, firing a large amount of tear gas. El-Naggar said he heard shotguns fired in Omar Makram Street, but did not witness any injuries resulting from the gunfire.
El-Naggar added that sit-in would continue, especially after the president’s spokesperson Yasser Ali said Morsy will not amend his declaration.
A field doctor in Tahrir Square, Mohamed Assi, said he had treated several protesters wounded by birdshot on Wednesday. However, he said overall there were few injuries and most protesters treated were suffering from tear gas inhalation.
State-run MENA news agency reported Tuesday that the director of media administration at the Ministry of Interior, Major General Ismail Osama, said that CSF were not using birdshot against protesters. He said that personnel at protests were only equipped with tear gas.
Osama criticised those holding the ministry responsible for the death of Gaber Salah, known as Jika, saying that doctors extracted birdshot of a type not used by the ministry. “Investigations are still ongoing, people should wait for its results before accusing the ministry of interior of things they would never do.”
A protester in Tahrir, Mohamed Morsy, accused the teenagers clashing with CSF of ruining the sit-in ongoing in the squrae. He said those throwing rocks at CSF do not belong to any political group or have any concrete demands.
Ashraf Hamouda, one of the teenagers throwing rocks at CSF, said he and his friends went to school to find its doors closed before deciding to come to Tahrir Square to “teach the CSF a lesson.”