Egyptians Now Turn on Army

Thousands demand resignation of defense minister, see reform as too slow
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 9, 2011 6:40 AM CDT
Protesters pass a charred bus in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, April 9, 2011. Soldiers beat hundreds of protesters with clubs and fired heavy volleys of gunfire into the air as part of a pre-dawn...   (Mohammed Abu Zaid)
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(Newser) – Once the defenders of Egypt's revolution, the army is now squarely in the crosshairs of tens of thousands of protesters who again crowded Cairo's Tahrir Square yesterday. Bloggers have been jailed for "insulting the military," thousands have been arrested, and women in military custody have been subjected to bogus virginity exams, reports the New York Times, and the backlash was evident yesterday. “We don’t want a confrontation with the army, but they have to understand that the people will not go quiet,” says a protester. “This is a revolution.”

Protesters had vowed not to leave without the resignation of the defense minister. But even the military crackdown in Tahrir smacked more of Hosni Mubarak's era than that of a burgeoning democracy, notes the AP: Hundreds of soldiers beat protesters in a 3am raid in which two people were reported killed—including one soldier who joined protesters. The military denied there were fatalities. "I saw women being slapped in the face, women being kicked," says another protester. (Read more Egypt stories.)

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