The Egyptian government’s crackdown on protesters escalated dramatically today, leaving at least 30 people dead and over 1,000 others wounded. Reports have at least 13 people being slain in the city of Suez alone.
Much of the violence came early in the day, when the police were attacking protesters and in many cases using live ammunition against them. Eventually though, the police were driven back into their stations, and many of those stations were burned, which is when President Mubarak called in the military.
When the military arrived on the scene, early Friday evening, there was actually considerable relief amongst the protesters, as they moved to protect government buildings but so far having launched the sort of brutal attacks the police were responsible for. Many indeed went into the streets to greet the military as a calming influence.
But when President Mubarak finally gave is speech, shortly after Midnight local time, the mood changed, as he insisted the military was there to ensure the continuation of his rule and demanded the protesters obey his nationwide curfew. So far the curfew is being completely ignored, but many believe it is only a matter of time before the military has to face the possibility of attacking its own citizens on behalf of the increasingly unpopular regime.