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Egypt: Ultras Push Police Back as the Battle for Tahrir Continues

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

Thousands of people flocked back to Tahrir Square on Friday to protest against the country's military rule. This morning, the Central Security Forces tried to violently disperse the crowds who camped overnight in the square using tear gas bombardments.

More protesters joined their comrades to push the police back. On Twitter, users describe running battles as police continue their assault and protesters insist on standing their ground and reclaiming the square. Twitter users also paint a story of gore and horror, as friends and family faint from the use of tear gas, others are injured when gunned down by rubber bullets fired at close range and rushed to hospital and loved ones are arrested and taken away to unknown locations.

A few minutes ago, the descent of thousands of football fans (ultras) to the square, which was the epicentre of the Egyptian revolution of January 25 which toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak, made the CSF retreat.

Here are some reactions from Twitter.

An hour ago, Bel Trew a journalist based in Cairo, tweeted:

@Beltrew: Made it up to a high vantage point.Tear gas is so thick even up here u can't breathe.Riot police took the square, arresting people #tahrir

Nada Wassef then announces:

@Nadawassef: News that 20،000 ultras are on their way #Tahrir

From his vantage point, Trew confirms:

@Beltrew: #csf leaving. Apparently it's the football fans who stormed #tahrir they are chasing police down Talaat harb street! #ultras

He posts the following picture and tweets:

Ultras descend on Tahrir Square. Picture from Twitter by Bel Trew

@Beltrew: Football fans storm #Tahrir and take it back from #csf

And Mosa'ab Elshamy tweets:

@mosaaberizing: The Ultras are here. I know that because they're the only ones facing the CSF with force while singing their hymns.

eSocialists posts this video and adds [ar]:

فيديو : إنسحاب مؤقت في إتجاه ميدان طلعت حرب لقوات الأمن المركزي من ميدان التحرير بعد فض الإعتصام بالقوة
Video: Temporary withdrawal of CSF from Tahrir Square in the direction of Talaat Harb Square after forcefully breaking up the sit in

The video is posted by Hossam El Hamalawy on YouTube:

Sharif Kouddous notes:

@sharifkouddous: Protesters have retaken Tahrir square. Chanting for an end to military rule.

He posts this picture to show the crowds returning to Tahrir.

Protesters return to Tahrir. Picture by Sharif Kouddous

Minutes later, Sabry Khaled tweets:

@sabrykhaled: Back to #tahrir square #Victory , protesters are calling for a sit-in till the scaf is down, no clashes now, Home #tahrir is safe now :)

Activist Gigi Ibrahim is ecstatic that protesters have made some progress. She tweets:

@Gsquare86: YESSS protesters are back at #Tahrir sq kicking police's ass !!!

With parliamentary elections looming, starting on November 28, blogger Nermeen Edrees offers candidates an ultimatum [ar]:

المرشح للي مش هيروح الميدان ويدافع عن حرية الناس في التظاهر والاعتصام..احسن له يقعد في بيتهم و ينسي الانتخابات
@NermeenEdrees: The candidate who is not at Tahrir Square and defending the freedom of people to demonstrate and take part in sit ins … should stay at home and forget all about the elections.

Trew also refers to the nearing elections. He tweets:

@Beltrew: Taking my journalist hat off. I'm so upset with what I have witnessed all day. 9 days till farcical elections &#csf are very violent #tahrir

According to government figures, today's injuries stand at at least 81 people hurt. Adam Makary tweets:

@adammakary: State media quoting health ministry official saying at least 81 injured so far from #tahrir clashes #egypt

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

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