Egypt Election in Turmoil After Clashes Kill 11

Security forces do nothing to break up conflict
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2012 10:38 AM CDT
An Egyptian medic helps a wounded man during clashes outside the Defense Ministry in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, May 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/Mostafa El Shemy)
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(Newser) – Clashes broke out in Cairo this morning between protesters railing against Egypt's ruling military council and people that those protesters described as "thugs," leaving 11 dead and more than 160 wounded. Reuters reports that the military's supporters were armed, and the New York Times says that security forces did nothing for hours to stop the fighting. The incident prompted two top candidates in the upcoming presidential election to suspend their campaigns in solidarity, and pushed back the first planned presidential debate.

"Our brothers are being slaughtered," said a spokesman for a group supporting one of those candidates, "and there has been a complete failure by the military council or the security forces to protect them." The violence sprung out of a rally outside the Ministry of Defense that was originally in support of disqualified hardline conservative candidate Hazem Abu Ismail, but grew into a broader protest against military rule.

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