Limited skirmishes erupted in Cairo’s downtown district on Friday afternoon, with dozens of protesters throwing rocks at security forces who responded by firing teargas.
Ahram Online reporter at the scene Mai Shaheen reports that dozens of protesters – some of whom appeared to be members of Egypt’s anti-government ‘Black Bloc’ movement – took part in the street fighting, which broke out near Cairo’s Shepherd Hotel.
At around 7pm, police fired several teargas canisters in an attempt to disperse demonstrators.
The ongoing disturbances have brought traffic in the area to a standstill.
The area has been the site of frequent demonstrations and clashes – especially within the last six months – due to its close proximity to Tahrir Square, which since Egypt’s 2011 popular uprising has served as Cairo’s premier protest venue.
A number of cement walls, erected by the military following a series of earlier clashes between security forces and protesters, remain standing across Cairo’s downtown district. One of these walls is located on Qasr Al-Aini Street, not far from where the street fighting is now taking place.
Friday’s clashes pre-empted a planned demonstration outside the nearby Arab League headquarters to mark a ‘Global day of Solidarity’ with the Syrian people.