Anti-Mubarak protesters in Cairo fight to hold square littered with bricks and burnt-out vehicles after night of bloodshed
Peter Beaumont and Jack Shenker in Cairo – guardian.co.uk, Thursday 3 February 2011 15.52 GMT
They were barely visible at first, a glimmer of tan clothing among the ranks of pro-Mubarak fighters lined on a low overpass above the entrance to Tahrir Square. It was from here that rocks, petrol bombs and bullets had been raining down on the anti-regime opposition defending their barricades below.
At 9am first one, then a second, and then dozens of Egyptian soldiers – the same military forces who had stood back and watched as last night’s bloodshed unfolded – finally appeared at this key strategic flashpoint and began driving back those on the bridge. Before them lay a no-man’s land littered with broken bricks and burnt-out vehicles that spoke of the extraordinary violence that had played out in the darkness.