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EGYPT: Nearly 200 arrested, more than 350 injured in protest at Israeli Embassy

May 16, 2011 | 10:24 am

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Egyptian authorities have arrested and referred to military prosecutors at least 186 people for alleged acts of sabotage, rioting and destruction of public facilities in connection with a protest outside the Israeli Embassy near Cairo late Sunday, a military official told state television Monday.

Clashes between security forces and protesters left at least 353 injured, a deputy health minister said. Many of the injured were treated by emergency medical personnel at the scene and never hospitalized, he said.

Six of the injured remained hospitalized Monday, one in critical condition, he said.

The injuries came after Egyptian riot police fired tear gas and live ammunition as several hundred protesters gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in the Cairo suburb of Giza late Sunday.

A health ministry official initially told Egyptian state television that only about two dozen protesters were injured, not including the large number treated at the scene. 

The protest followed calls on Facebook for a march on Israel on Sunday in solidarity with Palestinians marking Nakba Day, the anniversary of the displacement of Palestinians with the founding of Israel in 1948.

Demonstrators apparently attempted to remove security barricades outside the embassy, prompting police to fire tear gas and gunshots into the air to disperse the crowd, a military official told state television. Most of those injured suffered tear-gas inhalation.

The incident came a day after a group of mostly Coptic Christian protesters was attacked near downtown Cairo as Egyptian police looked on.

Egypt’s military government vowed last week to tighten security after violence between Copts and Muslims left 15 dead and scores injured in the Imbaba neighborhood.

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-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Amro Hassan in Cairo

Photo: Egyptian riot police fire tear gas during clashes with protesters in front of the Israeli Embassy outside Cairo, May 16, 2011. Credit: Khaled Desouki / AFP/Getty Images

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