The Egyptian army deployed troops in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on 1 August and fired shots in the air to disperse remaining pro-democracy protesters.
Local authorities say they asked demonstrators to allow traffic to move through the square, after local shopkeepers clashed with protesters for interfering with their businesses. Demonstrators reportedly refused, so the military and riot police moved in.
The protesters responded by throwing stones and rocks at the security forces and several protesters were injured in the clashes, officials said. Several demonstrators had been arrested.
Egyptian protesters had said they would suspend their sit-in at the square during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which began on 1 August, but would return to the square to press for reforms after the month was over.
Twenty-six political parties and protest movements wrote in a joint statement that their three-week sit-in had succeeded in achieving some of their demands, “pushing the Egyptian revolution a step forward”. The parties stressed that they “will return once again after Eid [feast marking the end of Ramadan] to protest peacefully in Tahrir Square so that the rest of the demands are met”.