Volden i Kairos gater truer forholdet mellom islamistene og militærstyret. Bruk av bøller og militser representerer en stor fare, på et meget følsomt tidspunkt.

Militærstyret skal ha foreslått å utsette presidentvalget, men hverken Brorskapet eller salafistene var villig til å lytte og boikottet møtet.

For hver drept demonstrant rykker faren for at politikk erstattes av vold, nærmere.

Between 20 and 30 people are reported to have died – the official count stands at just 12 – while between 50 and 100 were injured in the clashes, which have come around 20 days before the election on May 23 and 24 of Egypt’s first President since the end of Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule. The bloodiest episode involved a medical student, who had his throat slit by a large group of «baltageya», hired small-time criminals, who attacked protesters staging a sit-in at the top of the main road leading to the Ministry of Defence. The same attackers also laid waste to the waiting room and the emergency unit of a hospital in the area where some of those seriously injured were being treated. Clashes also occurred in the city of Alexandria.

Hundreds of demonstrators, who had been protesting since Friday evening in Cairo’s central Abbasseya Square, were attacked at dawn by «unknown» assailants, as the official Egyptian media has described them, armed with sticks, knives, Molotov cocktails and rocks. The protesters, many of them Salafist supporters of Hazem Abu Ismail, the fundamentalist candidate excluded from the presidential race, others young revolutionaries from Tahrir Square, responded with rocks and Molotov cocktails of their own.

Many were seriously injured and some later died.

Only halfway through yesterday did soldiers and security forces intervene to break up the clashes, though rocks continued to be thrown beyond security lines, after news arrived from medical sources at field hospitals set up in the area that the number of dead and injured was growing.

Egypt: Bloody protests 20 days ahead of Cairo elections