Clashes Break Out Between Pro And Anti-Mubarak Groups In Cairo's Tahrir Square As Political Turmoil Spread To Yemen
According to Al Jazeera, pro-Mubarak forces have clashed with the revolutionaries, in a sign that the "counter-revolution" has begun, and an Al Arabiya reporter has been stabbed by those who prefer Mubarak. It also appears that the pro-Mubarak forces are arriving on horseback, camelback and in chariots. Elsewhere, Egypt's armed forces on Wednesday told protesters that their demands had been heard and they must clear the streets: we are confident that everyone will disperse promptly and quietly... Another indication of how powerless the regime is, was that curfew hours were shortened even though nobody had been following the original curfew to begin with. Most importantly, the revolutionary concerns spread to Yemen, where president Ali Saleh followed in Mubarak's footsteps and vowed not to extend his term in 2013. Alas, his term will most likely be cut off well short of that optimistic estimate.
The Egyptian army said protesters should return to their homes, in a statement by a military spokesman on state television. It came hours after U.S. President Barack Obama told Mubarak that transition to democracy must “begin now.” Supporters of the president rallied in central Cairo and there were scuffles with protesters. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh today vowed not to extend his term in 2013 after Mubarak said late yesterday he won’t run for re-election in September.
Political turmoil is spreading through the Middle East. Saleh called for a national unity government in Yemen, Jordan’s King Abdullah yesterday sacked his prime minister, and in Algeria protesters have been killed in clashes with security forces. The unprecedented protests in Egypt, which followed a revolt in Tunisia that ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on Jan. 14, have left as many as 300 people dead and roiled international stock, bond and oil markets.
“There is no chance Mubarak can last until September, there is too much water under the bridge,” said Rime Allaf, associate fellow of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at London’s Chatham House. “The protests won’t stop until he leaves or is ousted. The opposition is clear that they want the fall of the regime, not just Mubarak.”
As usual, follow the latest development on Al-Jazeera: