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Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Turmoil and Confusion

Activist montage of the march today in Sitra in Bahrain for 16-year-old Ali Alsatrawi, killed last week by a police jeep, and the attack on it by security forces

See also Bahrain Video Diary, Part 3: The Freedom Torch Marches To Its Final Destination"
Monday's Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: "The Government Wants the People To Become More Violent"
Monday's Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Newest Battle of Tahrir Square

2145 GMT: Numerous reports from Tahrir Square in Cairo are indicating "the most potent tear gas yet".

Discussion is pointing to the use by Egyptian security forces of CR gas, whose "effects are approximately 6 to 10 times more powerful than those of CS gas".

The gathering in Alexandria tonight:

2115 GMT: Claimed footage of the funeral in Idlib in Syria tonight for three men killed by security forces:

Bab Al-Qebli in Hama Province:

Palmyra in Homs Province:

2105 GMT: Libya's interim Prime Minister, Abdurrahim al-Keib, has named a transitional Cabinet.

The post of Minister of Defence has been given to Osama al-Juwali, the local military commander of the western town of Zintan. Fawzi Abdelal, one of the Misrata rebel leaders, is Minister of Interior.

Other key appointments include Abdurrahim Bin Yazzaa former executive with the Italian oil firm ENI, at the Ministry of Oil and Gas and Ashour Bin Khayal as interim Foreign Minister.

Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court has accepted that Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the son of the former Libyan leader, will be tried in Libya and not The Hague.

ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo had said that Libya's justice system was not ready to try Qaddafi but, visiting the country, he said this was no longer the case, although the ICC would help in any trial.

2058 GMT: A woman in Sitra defies police:

2051 GMT: While Tahrir Square in Egypt has arguably seen more tear gas than any location in the world, no neighborhood has suffered during Arab Spring more than Baba Amr, Homs, Syria, where the people have been shelled almost every day for more than a months. Despite this, the people of Baba Amr have still taken to the streets to protest the Assad regime:

2046 GMT: Meanwhile, thousands have taken to the streets in Kuwait:

Thousands of Kuwaitis rallied and called for a change of government and the dissolution of parliament after the Emir Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah ruled out dissolving the body or seeking the resignation of the prime minister. “We have come here to demand changing the government. This is part of our constitutional rights,” lawyer Osama al-Shaheen told the estimated crowd of 15,000 people in Kuwait City. Meanwhile, Kuwait’s public prosecutor ordered the arrest 45 people accused of involvement in the storming of the parliament building during an anti-government protest last week. Those arrested did not include lawmakers who took part in the protest, as the “lawmakers will will be dealt with separately,” one source told Reuters. The Emir labeled the storming of the parliament as a “black day.”

Isabel Coles and Eman Goma suggest that Kuwait’s protests have brought “just a taste of the Arab Spring” to the country. Analysts say approximately 26 of the 50 elected members of parliament oppose the prime minister, but the 15 appointed cabinet ministers support the PM, “giving him an overall majority in parliament.” One opposition member has said “Our spring is completely different. The Arab Spring is directed against the regimes. Our spring is directed against the prime minister and corruption, but we are devoted to the system of governance in Kuwait,” he said.

2041 GMT: Tensions are mounting around Tahrir Square, particularly on Mohamed Mahmoud Street on the way to the Interior Ministry headquarters:

"Four consecutive shots of tear gas just popped. Panicked ppl running thru side streets near min of int"

" Clouds of white tear gas, clashes intensifying, banging on fences by protesters louder"

Another activist adds,

"CSF [security forces] just rushed into falaki sq. Took everyone by surprise"

2032 GMT: Several sources are reporting that the Egyptian police are trying to clear out Tahrir Square. One activist shares this:

Crowds leaving #Tahrir after massive tear gas filled the air.

Protesters are chanting back in response, "Freedom, freedom! We won't leave, he has to leave!"

Meanwhile, similar action is happening in Alexandria:

Rawya Rageh reports that police are using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters from what she describes as "the biggest symbol of the Ministry of Interior" in Alexandria, the main police headquarters.

The commander of the headquarters has said the building holds a large stockpile of weapons and that he cannot allow protesters to overrun it.

Rageh later says, "Oh my God," as a tear gas canister hits near a petrol station.

1852 GMT: Two opposing reactions to the Tantawi's speech. The first, from activist Sabry Khaled, echoing what appears to be happening in Tahrir Square:

"Increased numbers, Increased tents, increased determination, this is #tahrir state after the speech."

The second, given by candidate for President Mahmoud Salem:

"Spoke to many people outside #tahrir , the majority liked the #tantawispeech. Just an fyi."

Part of the problem is that the only "news" in the speech was leaked more than an hour earlier, that a salvation government would be formed and elections held and power transferred before June 1, 2012. There were other concessions, but they will also be lost on the crowd. Many in the crowd wanted to hear a resignation speech and instead heard no new information, just denial.

1843 GMT: A large anti-government protest leaving the Zaid Bin Al-Duthanna mosque in Kafar Souseh, Damascus (MAP):

1823 GMT: Last night we reported that a 19 year old man, Nasser Mahiche, was killed during a protest in the Eastern Saudi town of Qatif. The AFP confirms the event, though the name is different, as AFP says it was Ali al-Felfel who was killed on Monday:

"The police told us that gunmen had opened fire on the police checkpoint... and that my son was caught in the crossfire between the police and the armed men, and was struck by four bullets," Ali al-Mheishi, the man's father, told the AFP news agency.

AFP also reported that another protester was killed on Sunday.

Reuters has some contradictory information:

Saif said that a 19-year-old technical college student died on Sunday by what police had told his family was a stray bullet fired during a clash between security forces and unknown assailants.

On Monday, a girl was shot and killed and another young man, believed to be aged 24, was also shot dead during a march in al-Qatif. The activist said they were hit by stray bullets.

So far, both reports quote activists, so it's unclear why there are differences between the reports (perhaps blame eyewitness accounts in the heat of the moment?). However, the important clue is that the police are claiming that those killed were shot by "straf bullets" in a shootout, not that they were directly shot by Saudi police.

This is the video we posted yesterday, claiming to show the death of Nasser on Monday night:

1758 GMT: To further juxtapose Tantawi's speech with the realities of Egypt, I'll share this report from journalist Jon Jensen in Cairo:

"Tantawi addressing the nation. Heavy gunfire in streets of Bab al-Louq now.

Can't hear the Tantawi speech over the loud gunfire in Cairo. Crowds on Mohamed Mahmoud chanting.

Worst tear gassing yet by police on Mohamed Mahmoud. Few near frontline could even open their eyes to watch Tantawi speech.

1740 GMT: Iyad El-Baghdadi sums up the reaction of the Egyptians in the square:

"I was prepared to reject #Tantawi's apology, but he stumped me. He didn't even apologize."

1730 GMT: Mohamed Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has begun his speech, which we have been waiting for all day. He has stated that the military is supporting the people, and he is taking allegations of abuses very seriously. He also spoke about the danger that the country has been in, and SCAF stepped in to stabilize the country after the revolution.

"The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is only interested in democracy and is not interested in who wins the election." He has also pledged to hand over power, and stated that he did not understand why people were so angry as they have stuck to that plan.

I'm having an incredible sense of Déjà vu. The people in Tahrir Square gathered in protest, a rambling speech by the head of the regime that pledges reform down the road while condemning accusations that say otherwise, and then the chanting and anger from the crowds.

The people in the square clearly demanded the resignation of Tantawi, and he did not deliver.

1718 GMT: While we STILL wait for Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh to sign the GCC agreement, which reportedly would be signed today, Al Jazeera interviews protesters who describe their movement as being "hijacked:

1711 GMT: A report near Tahrir suggests that another burst of violence has broken out in a side street:

"Extreme violence on Mohamed Mahmoud. Police firing heavily, from the shadows on an unlit street."

In Alexandria, Al Jazeera had just started to talk about how the situation was very calm. However, as I was about to write that, the streets filled with tear gas, and people started to run.

1705 GMT: Across Syria, activists are reporting widespread gasoline and diesel shortages, key resources not only for vehicles, but also for cooking and heating. In some areas, shortages are leading to long lines in front of the few stations that have not run out, or cues of people waiting for new supplies to arrive. In some areas, such as Dael, Daraa, activists are reporting that the supplies have been completely cut by the Syrian military.

The interesting question is whether the military is cutting oil supplies as retribution against the protests, or because they are also suffering from shortages.

1658 GMT: The Washington Post adds details of a deal that would lead to the military government ion Egypt stepping down one year early:

Egypt’s embattled military leadership has promised to hand over power to a civilian government no later than July 1, 2012, the state news agency MENA reported Tuesday--a full year earlier than expected.

The pledge--announced by presidential hopeful Mohammed Salim al-Awaa after a meeting with the ruling generals--marks the biggest concession by the military leadership since anti-government protests began this weekend, mushrooming into a national revolt.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces also is vowing to halt the bloody clashes that have left at least 33 people dead, to try individuals responsible for violence against protesters and to release dozens of people arrested in the four days of clashes, MENA reported.

1654 GMT: Al Jazeera quotes White House spokesman Jay Carney from aboard Air Force one:

"We are deeply concerned about the violence. The violence is deplorable. We call on all sides to exercise restraint."

1626 GMT: Protests are now being confirmed not just in Cairo and Alexandria, but also in Suez, Qena, Beni-Soueif, Al-Sharqiya and Al-Wadi Al-Gadid, according to Ahram Online.

Al-Hayat TV reports that political representatives' meeting with Chief of Staff Gen. Sami Anan resulted in the following agreements:

- Holding presidential elections on 30 June 2012 while parliamentary elections will stay on schedule.

- Allowing freedom of protest and sit-ins.

- An immediate release of the detainees arrested since last Saturday.

- Forming a new "national salvation" unity government.

1623 GMT: A protester describes the scene right now on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, outside Tahrir Square:

"mohammad mahmoud now the gas was so fierce my lungs almost exploded"

1619 GMT: Back to Egypt --- Because of the large number of injuries to protestes in Mohamed Mahmoud Street, there really aren't enough ambulances to transport them away from the scene and to a hospital or clinic. Some protesters have brought their motorcycles and are waiting near the street to help transport the injured. Here's a picture of some of them earlier in the day:

1612 GMT: The Local Coordinating Committees of Syria have raised today's death toll to 21.

Number of martyrs today in Syria rose to 21 among them are 5 children,11 martyrs in Homs, 7 martyrs in Hama and 3 martyrs

A graphic video has been released, reportedly showing the body of young Emad Ismael, killed in Houle Homs today. In Khalidaya, this graphic video shows the body of Munair Habous, who was also reportedly killed today.

This is the remains of a home that was reportedly destroyed today by a tank shell in the Bab Sbaa district of Homs:

1606 GMT: A student demonstration in the Qadam District of Damascus:

1600 GMT: A clarification from our last report from Egypt. According to Reuters:


Egypt's ruling military council agrees to form salvation government, stage presidential elections before July, politicians say

Another source says that the elections will be held on June 30.

1555 GMT: The LCCS reports that there have been more protests at a university in Lattakia (MAP):

Latakia : a demonstration of university students in the faculty of civil engineering in Teshreen university, they lifted a 9 meter long independence flag demanding the release of university student Yaman Alqadri. Demonstration dispersed when security forces arrived and a high security alert was noticed inside and around university

1548 GMT: Some breaking news from Egypt. According to Sultan Al Qassemi:

Al Jazeera: Abu AlAla Madi (Al Wasat Party head): SCAF has accepted PM Sharaf govt resignation

Breaking Al Jazeera: Abu AlAla Madi (Al Wasat Party): National Unity govt agreed on. Presidential elections will be held before next July

Al Arabiya: MENA: SCAF agrees on formation of National Unity Govt

1543 GMT: Video has emerged of the protest in Sitra, Bahrain. Women and children get dispersed by tear gas fire:

1532 GMT: According to the LCCS, 17 people have been killed so far in Syria:

Number of martyrs today in Syria rose to 17 among them are 4 children,8 martyrs in Homs, 6 martyrs in Hama and 3 martyrs...

[In Homs] The shooting in Bayada neighborhood increased since 8 AM, and it spread to the neighborhoods of Khaldiyeh, Qusoor, and Qarabees, and the snipers are still deployed at the buildings overlooking Qusoor, Khaldiyeh, and Hama road, targetting everything that moves

Earlier, the LCCS had released a statement about the military attack on the city of Homs:

Homs: Hawla: Recurring storming of the town with tanks and armored vehicles amidst heavy random gunfire lead to at least 3 wounded residents.

Homs: Military and security forces with support of armors raided Al-Bayada neighborhood from all its entrances under a full cover of random shooting by all kinds of machine guns.

The martyrdom of four children in Homs, Houle untill now.

This video, shared by the LCCS, reportedly shows tanks storming the city, and the death of on of the children in Houle (sometimes spelled Hula, or Hawleh):

1526 GMT: Two of the three Americans who have been arrested in Cairo, accused to attacking police, have been identified:

"A spokeswoman for the American University in Cairo identified two of the detained students as Luke Gates, 21, an exchange student from Bloomington, Indiana who attends Indiana University; and Gregory Porter, 19, of Glenside, Penn., and Drexel University."

The third student, who attends Georgetown University, has not been identified because his parents have not been notified.

The three are accused of throwing molotov cocktails at police.

1520 GMT: Back to Egypt, in every direction protesters are flocking to Tahrir Square:

Compared to earlier pictures, it appears that the size of the crowd inside the square is growing rapidly, even though the sun is setting:

1515 GMT: This video was reportedly taken today in Harasta, right outside Damascus (MAP). It shows a heavy security presence. However, these soldiers do not appear to be preparing to face protesters, as some of them are armed with rocket-propelled grenades. Harasta was recently the site of on of the syrian Free Army's boldest attacks to date:

1510 GMT: A disturbing video from Syria. The LCCS describes the scene:

Martyrdom of three brothers: Khaled, Samer, and Khoder Mohammad Al-Zanee after security shot at their car at the high way Idlib-Sarmeen

1505 GMT: Because of the action of a single protester, violence has once again erupted in the side streets outside of Tahrir Square:

"Lone protester throws a rock at police. Crowd chants, "Peaceful! Peaceful!" Police showing restraint.

"Clashes erupt...Tear gas back on the street. Crowd scattered after a police gun was fired into the air."

1457 GMT: Now, according to Mahmoud Salem, the tension may be breaking:

"Mohamed mahmoud is being evacuated voluntarily."

1452 GMT: Near Tahrir Square, the ceasefire in Mohamed Mahmoud street continues to hold for now, according to Presidential Candidate Mahmoud Salem.

"Ceasefire at mohamed mahmoud. Both sides standing still. Protesters urging people from throwing rocks."

Journalist Jon Jensen adds:

"Protesters and police are standing face to face in the truce. Very tense."

This might be the longest break in violence on Mohamed Mahmoud for roughly 72 hours straight.

1445 GMT: Activist-Journalist Rowan El Shimi reports that the crowds of people in the streets headed towards Tahrir Square is on the rise:

Another march joined us on #tahrir street in Dokki. The echos of the chants are intense!

Two marches made a huge march heading to #tahrir. #byescaf

1439 GMT: We closed yesterday's Liveblog by saying that, according to the opposition in Yemen, a President Saleh had agreed to sign the GCC deal. However, as the hours tick by, Saleh has yet to sign the deal:

A Western diplomat confirmed an agreement on power handover has been reached but said that Benomar was still discussing details related to its signing.

Under a plan crafted by Yemen's six Gulf Arab neighbors, Saleh would transfer his powers to his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, ahead of an early election.

However, Saleh has repeatedly failed to sign the deal, which aims to end months of protests that have paralyzed the country.

The Yemeni official, who asked to remain anonymous, said that Saleh was trying to reassure officials in his party to drop their opposition to the accord and to "convince them that the GCC plan is the best way forward."

So, we were skeptical yesterday, now that skepticism seems to have been warranted.

1433 GMT: The Guardian's Jack Shenker reports that, even away from the protests in Tahrir Square, the status quo in Egypt is rattled:

The latest is a statement made by 245 leading Egyptian diplomats, calling on the ruling generals to "stop systematic assaults by security on protesters" and demanding civilian power be restored by mid-2012 at the latest (under the military council's current plan, it would remain in control well into 2013).

Meanwhile the Egyptian stock exchange has now suspended trading after shares slumped, increasing the sense of crisis rapidly engulfing Scaf head Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and those around him.

Most of those flooding into central Cairo for today's massive protest care very little about the views of far-off diplomats or the oscillations of the stock market. But at Scaf's headquarters, as well as policy-making circles around the world, it all helps add to the growing feeling that the situation is spiralling beyond the control of the military generals and a change is desperately needed.

That same atmosphere - that of originally small-scale protests gathering unstoppable momentum and impacting on unlikely corners of society, as those with political and economic power realise that the ground has shifted and their own best interests may no longer lie with supporting the status quo - marked the early days of the anti-Mubarak uprising, and intensified with each speech the toppled dictator tried to make.

1423 GMT: EA Correspondent Josh Shahryar reports that a soldier has joined the protesters in Tahrir Square, Egypt:

An army Lieutenant General has joined the protesters in Tahrir Square. Protesters are carrying him on their shoulders and he's being hugged and patted on the back by protesters in Tahrir Square - a rare show of support for a member of the military which has lost much of its support with the youth. Some protesters are screaming, "GO GO GO, Al Mosheer [Tantawi]" around him.

1415 GMT: Sources in Syria are reporting that the military has been shelling several neighborhoods in Homs all day, including the Karm Al-Zaiton, Qusoor, Khaldiyeh and Qarabis, neighborhoods in Homs city (see a map of the city), and the suburbs of Talbiseh and Hula.

Al Jazeera is reporting that at least 16 have been killed today, in Homs and elsewhere, including Hama. The LCCS is also reporting that three brothers have been killed in Sarmin, Idlib Province (MAP).

1408 GMT: Several EA sources in Sirta, Bahrain, have had to run away from riot police and tear gas and are now tweeting about how they have had to hide. We are keeping them anonymous for their safety.

Mathew Casell notes the lack of media attention:

Despite dozens of journalists in #Bahrain this week, BBC team was only mainstream foreign media covering funeral in Sitra today

1401 GMT: An activist posts this picture, a line of police in Sitra, Bahrain, a crowd of protesters, and a cloud of tear gas between them:

1357 GMT: Al Jazeera Arabic is reporting that 8 people have been killed so far in Syria, including 4 in Homs. But that number is likely incomplete, as Now Lebanon quotes them as saying that only 3 children have been killed, but we have posted the names of 4 below.

1354 GMT: Gunfire is reported in Sitra, Bahrain:

"Hearing lots of shooting out on street. Shooting and neighbor's chickens"

1349 GMT: Al Jazeera's Evan Hill has this update:

CBC showing yet another ceasefire between protesters and riot police on Mohamed Mahmoud

This video appears to be a live stream from Tahrir Square:

1345 GMT: The day is young, and reports of violence are coming in, but 4 children have already died in Syria:

Four of the victims of Syrian violence today are children, according to human rights groups and activists.

The Local Co-Ordinating Committees (LCC) and the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the children, aged between 10 and 15, were killed by gunshots fired at random from a military checkpoint near the town of Houla in Homs province, AP reported.

On its Facebook page, the LCC names the young victims as Shahade Ayman Alkasim, 15, Abdul Kader Ruslan, 10, Ammar Ismail, 13, and Mosa Faramli, 11.

1328 GMT: Freelance writer Matthew Cassel is in Bahrain, and he tweets reports of protests and clashes in Sitra. This stream started about an hour ago and ended about 12 minutes ago:

People pray at grave of ali yousef al badah, 16 y.o. Killed 3 days ago in sitra

1000s marching now In sitra #Bahrain "al shaab yurid isqaat al nizam"

In the march boy carries pic of ali al badah

100s of women marching... Chanting "down w hamad"

Can see police at end of road protesters now marching down ...

I estimate 2-3000 unarmed protesters here in sitra town in #Bahrain for funeral of 16 yo killed on weekend.

100s of police blocking road ahead.

Tear gas all inside sitra

Taking shelter for a moment like most others. Gas is inescapable in sitra. Police marching through streets

I smell a bit like a duty free shop from all the perfumes sprayed on me by protesters trying to counter gas effects

1322 GMT: In Syria, there are reports of a military campaign in various towns in Hama, and the LCCS is reporting that several people have been killed in several locations. In Hula, Homs, however, the opposition is busy burying their dead:

1316 GMT: Josh Shahryar will be making Egypt updates while James Miller takes the rest of the Arab Spring.

Al Jazeera Live is now reporting that all protesters arrested in Alexandria in the past two days of protests have been released. There are protests going on in that city right now and there have been reports of tear gas use and clashes as well. It is not yet certain why they were released or if this is going to be repeated in Cairo as well.

Ahmram Online reports now that some women in Tahrir are planning on going to Mohamed Mahmoud Street near the square to form a buffer zone around protesters for their protection.

1300 GMT: There are reports that SCAF head Marshal Hussein Tantawi might appear on state TV with an announcement. No one is sure what he might say. Protesters seem to be moving beyond Tahrir Square now. 


 Al Jazeera: Thousands of protesters make their way from Tahrir to head offices of Egyptian government



1250 GMT: There are multiple unconfirmed reports about ElBaradei's future. Some sources say he would accept the post of prime minsiter if he is allowed to have more power than Essam Sharaf while others say he won't under any circumstances. Confusion is surrounding the resignation of Sharaf and his cabinet yesterday as well. While it was reported earlier that SCAF has accepted the resignation, now it seems that that may not be the case. 

Deena Adel tweets

State TV: #SCAF has not made a decision yet regarding the Cabinet's resignation.


1230 GMT: As Tahrir fills up, more and more protesters are bringing large flags of Egypt and unfolding them. Several points in Tahrir now have these flags. Here's one [h/t mfatt7]: 

1220 GMT: SCAF indeed invited several leading political figures and party members for a meeting to be held at 12 PM in Cairo which is currently underway. The meeting is being attended by several presidential candidates and of course, SCAF head Marshal Husein al-Tantawi. The meeting's purpose is said to be finding a way out of the current turmoil created by the protests across the country against SCAF. 

Candidates that are supposedly not favored by SCAF are Mohamed ElBaradei, who has supposedly refused to accept the post of prime minister after Essam Sharaf's resignation yesterday, and Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh. 

1215 GMT: Ramy Yaccoub posts a picture of the frontline of clashes on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, close to Tahrir Square where protesters and police continue to engage in skirmishes, leaving many protesters injured. 

1210 GMT: Protesters are bringing the coffins of dead protesters, with the bodies inside into Tahrir Square right now. Livestreams from the scene show many people crying, others sobbing and still others angrily shouting. Protesters have formed human chains on the side of streets to keep them clear of protesters so injured protesters could be quickly carried away to hospitals in ambulances. Here's one such chain [h/t Austin Mackell

1205 GMT: The battle for Tahrir's side street rages on. Ian Lee from Mohamed Mahmoud reports that there, the army tried to separate the protesters and the police, but reportedly failed. The army members repeatedly pleaded with protesters to move back in order to stop the skirmishes that have been going on for two days and have left hundreds of people injured and possibly a few dead, but it doesn't seem to be working. 

1145 GMT: Reuters reports that business at Cairo's benchmark Stock Exchange EGX30 has been suspended after it plummetted by 5%. More on this soon.  

1140 GMT: Mohamed ElBaradei is reported to have refused to attend SCAF's political powers meeting and has said that any solution must come out of Tahrir Square. This cannot be independently verified yet by Western media. 

Battles in Cairo continue to rage in streets around Tahrir. Mohamed Mahmoud is again the center of much of the violence against protesters. Tear gas use has been heavy and protesters continue to be injured. So far, hundreds have been wounded today per reports from tweeps present at the scene and other sources. 

1135 GMT: Meanwhile, the number of diplomats have denounced SCAF's use of violence against protesters and asked for it to be ended immediately, Al Masry Al Youm report. The number stood at 140 yesterday, but it has now increased after more joined today. However, the protesters demands have not been endorsed and the diplomats want elections to be held and SCAF to hand over power by mid-2012. 

1130 GMT: Ahram Online is reporting that at least 500 protesters have been injured around Tahrir in the past two hours alone because of police brutality and heavy use of tear gas and baton. Egyptians are trying their best to cope with this by coming up with creative ways to combat spray bullets, tear gas and other weapons. Here's a picture that does not need explanation. [h/t Matt Pearce]

1055 GMT: Multiple sources on Twitter are reporting that in Alexandria, the army is throwing tear gas canisters at heavily packed parts of protester gatherings in order to disperse them. This news has not been verified by mainstream media so far. 

Onto Libya, a new 21-minute long video of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has been released now by the Zintan Media Center. The video shows him in the early hours of his arrest, as well as his captors: 

1045 GMT: Despite yesterday's calls for a million man march the number of protesters in Tahrir Square isn't quite one million. However, it is still huge. Looking at pictures, it is evident that A) It is the largest number gathered there so far in the latest string of protests, B) It is just as large as protest back in February against President Hosni Mubarak and C) it is growing. 

The BBC is already reporting that the number of protesters at Tahrir is close to 20,000. That number cannot be independently verified, but looking at pictures, it doesn't look to be too off from the real number, which could end up being larger. 

Meanwhile protests are also continuing in other parts of Egypt. The second largest after Cairo is currently being held in Alexandria. Here are two pictures from that city. [h/t Adam Makary]. 


1030 GMT: Yesterday, we reported on @TahrirSupplies, a Twitter account set up to forward the protesters needs inside the square to others who could bring those supplies. In the latest sign that Egyptians are using Twitter more and more to topple SCAF, a new account has now been made to ask for blood donations - @law3andakDam.

1025 GMT: The April 6 Movement is continuing its drive to push SCAF out of power. In their latest move, they are asking SCAF to hand over power to a civilian 'presidential council' to be composed of Mohamed ElBaradei, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and Hazem Abou Ismail - who are all presidential candidates - and Judge Zakaria Abdul Aziz.

In a sign of concession, the Movement has said that the military could appoint someone from within their ranks to be part of the council as well. 

The group also conceded a place for the military, stating that the armed forces could appoint a military man to sit on the council. Al Masry Al Youm, which carried to original story, further adds

The proposed council would be fully responsible for  the people, the nation and forming a national interim government that would oversee elections. The literal Arabic translation for this proposed interim government gives much insight: "salvation government."

1015 GMT: Whether SCAF is budging or not in the face of protests is uncertain, but the Egyptian economy is sinking, rapidly. ABC reports from today just minutes ago: 

The Egyptian Exchange's benchmark EGX30 index fell by almost 3.1 percent within minutes of the start of trade before rebounding slightly. The index was down 2.95 percent by 11:30 a.m. local time, blowing past the 3,800 point level seen by brokers as a key support level. The declines built on the previous day's 4 percent slide and dragged its year-to-date decline down to over 47 percent.

Meanwhile Al Jazeera's Adam Makary is reporting that at least 40 people have been injured in Alexandria in yesterday's clashes, but protesters are reporting much higher numbers.

0520 GMT: Turkish President Abdullah Gul has reinforced Ankara's conclusion that President Assad is finished in Damascus: "Syria is now at a dead end so change is inevitable....It's quite too late for [Assad's promises of reforms now. He seems to have opted for a different route. And frankly we do not have any more trust in him."

However, Gul was cautious about any Turkish role in bringing about Assad's fall. He declined to comment on reports that Turkey is preparing a buffer zone on the Syrian border, and he rejected the creation of a haven for armed groups, although Ankara will continue to offer a "democratic platform" for Syrian opposition organisations.

Gul said, "We don't believe the right way to create change is through external intervention. The people must make that change. Civil war is not something that anyone would want to see happen. Everything must be done to prevent it. It is very dangerous."

As the death toll from this weekend's fighting went past 30, with more than 1500 wounded, Egypt was caught up in political confusion last night.

The Government, including Prime Minister Essam Sharaf offered its resignation to the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, but the military command delayed its response, reportedly as it sought a new Prime Minister. SCAF asked the Ministry of Justice to hold an enquiry and  invited "all the political and national forces for an emergency dialogue to look into the reasons behind the aggravation of the current crisis and ways to resolve it as quickly as possible".

Thousands of people were in the square last night, despite the 72 hours of assaults by security forces, are chanting, "The people want the end of the Field Marshal,” SCAF's head  Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. Al Jazeera English's Sherine Tadros summarised, "The resolve of people is pretty amazing, they keep showing up....Everyone seems to feel this is very much a battle between them and the police."

Several political groups have called for a "million person march" today, beginning at 4 p.m. (1400 GMT). A mass rally is also planned in Alexandria, one of the other Egyptian cities where demonstrations have been taking place.

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    Response: Joseph Chinnock
    EA WorldView - Home - Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Turmoil and Confusion
  • Response
    Response: Joseph Chinnock
    EA WorldView - Home - Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Turmoil and Confusion
  • Response
    Response: Joseph Chinnock
    EA WorldView - Home - Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Turmoil and Confusion
  • Response
    Response: Joseph Chinnock
    EA WorldView - Home - Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Turmoil and Confusion
  • Response
    Response: Joseph Chinnock
    EA WorldView - Home - Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Turmoil and Confusion
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    Response: guy hayenga
    EA WorldView - Home - Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Turmoil and Confusion
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    EA WorldView - Home - Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Turmoil and Confusion

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