4 Feb 2011

Map: The Battle for Tahrir Square

The Egypt protests have focused around Tahrir Square with anti-Mubarak protestors besieged by government loyalists. Channel 4 News lays out the key areas of the battleground.

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Around 200,000 people gathered in central Tahrir Square today after the Friday prayers, demanding regime change and the departure of Hosni Mubarak.

Pro-Mubarak supporters were seen in their hundreds around the square, but did not approach the crowd during the day time.

Crowds of protesters, chanting “peacefully, peacefully” rushed towards the square from the Kasr el-Nil bridge across the Nile from other districts in a line a kilometre long.

On Wednesday, the square was the scene of violent mayhem as government loyalists attacked the demonstrators in the square. Horsemen and armed gangs injuring over 600 and killing at least three.

Battle lines were swiftly drawn with makeshift barricades drawn up. Both sides hurled rocks at each other, and in some cases crude catapults were set up. Molotov cocktails were hurled from roof tops and motorway flyovers.

On Thursday, the army was more proactive and moved to separate the two forces with tanks but skirmishes between the two sides continued. Journalists were attacked on Thursday following reports by state TV that Israeli spies were posing as western journalists.