Egypt’s Tahrir Square Closed as Protesters Barricade Entrances

Cairo’s central Tahrir Square was closed to traffic as dozens of protesters barricaded several entrances a day after it was forcibly evacuated by security forces and soldiers.

Groups of protesters lay in makeshift tents or explained their demands to passersby in the square, which was at the heart of 18 days of protests that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

“We want to see court rulings against the people who were running this country,” said 31-year-old Mahmoud Youssef, who owns a clothing store. “We want speedy trials. We want to feel that something is being done.”

Tens of thousands of people gathered on April 8 in the downtown area demanding prompt trials for the ousted president and his top officials. Several hundred remained in the square overnight, defying a curfew, and were dispersed by security forces and troops after clashes.

The ruling military council denied using live ammunition, saying that there were “outlaws” among the protesters. Four soldiers and nine civilians were wounded in the violence and 42 people were arrested and being interrogated, the council said.

“The armed forces did not inflict any harm on the protesters or the outlaws,” Adel Omara, member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said at a press conference yesterday. One person was found shot dead after the troops left the square, he said.

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