Protestors clash with army in Cairo

Protestors in Egypt, fearing the army will impose a regime on the people that would include elements of the old Mubarak regime, clashed with police in Tahrir Square, site of the uprising that drove Mubarak from power.


Some protesters want the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to hand power to a civilian council and have called for the resignation of Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who heads the army council. He has stayed on as defense minister after serving for two decades in that post under Mubarak.

"Either Field Marshal Tantawi puts these people -- Mubarak, Gamal (his son), and the others -- on trial, or he leaves his post and lets someone else do it. The slowness of the process makes people suspicious that the army (leadership) might be implicated," said Ashraf Abdel-Aziz, 36, a shop owner.

In scenes reminiscent of the height of protests against Mubarak, three burned-out army vehicles were left in the square. Some protesters, angry at the army's tactics, hurled rocks at the smoldering hulk of one of the army trucks.

"The army is in a tough position. What happened Friday was a result of the army's mismanagement of how to steer the revolution forward, but not complicity with the old Mubarak regime," said Hasan Nafaa, a political science professor who was active in mobilizing the protest movement.

With the Muslim Brotherhood the most organized part of the opposition, the army is reluctant to move forward with democratic change. But eventually, they will have to make greater progress toward a new government or the country might explode once again.