A total of 231 people were wounded when opponents of the military junta clashed with its supporters in Cairo, the MENA news agency said. A Health Ministry spokesman said 39 people were hospitalized, others received first aid on site.
According to the media, thousands gathered near the Defense Ministry building on Saturday to demand the authorities to speed up democratic reforms in the country. Later in the day, the protestors clashed with a group of government loyalists, who threw stones at the crowd. Police had to fire shots in the air to prevent the crowd from forcing their way into the ministry building.
The recent incidents come hours after Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) said internal coherence and firmness is crucial in the face of the challenges faced by the country. In a televised statement, Tantawi said all Egyptians need to put the country above all interests. “The people who refused the defeat in 1967 and achieved victory in the great October war in 1973 are able to overcome the current difficulties and make history through cooperation and solidarity," he said.
Tantawi added that the SCAF is determined to build a modern democratic state and hand over power to an elected president and parliament.