November 23rd, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Egypt says human shield will implement a 'truce'

[Updated at 9:47 a.m. ET] A "human shield" was marching toward a major Cairo road to implement a truce Wednesday, Egyptian state television announced.

After police pulled back from Mohamed Mahmoud street - which runs from Tahrir Square, the epicenter of protests since Saturday, and the Interior Ministry - state television said religious scholars were on their way "to form a human shield between the protesters and the security forces."

Near the Interior Ministry, CNN saw military police separate protesters from police but did not immediately see the clerics State TV said were also on their way to form a human shield.

Speaking after hours of clashes on the street on the fifth day of the current uprising, Adel Saeed, spokesman for the Egyptian general prosecutor's office, said "a truce has been reached between the protesters and the security forces at the Ministry of Interior through several leading religious scholars."

It was not immediately clear who may have been represented in the discussions to which Saeed referred. Protesters told CNN the fighting will start again because they don't trust the authorities.

Protesters and police have clashed since Saturday, with demonstrators demanding that military leaders push through a promised transition to a civilian authority. Occasionally, the two parties negotiate short lived cease-fires, only to have a stray rock spark the violence once more.

Some 30 people have died, and about 1,950 have been injured in the clashes, the Health Ministry said Tuesday.

After the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak, military leaders took control with the promise that eventually a civilian government would be elected and take over. Parliamentary elections are set to take place Monday.

But demonstrators say they are concerned the military, which would continue to be Egypt's top authority until a president is in place, wants to keep a grip on the country. Many also have voiced anger about a proposed constitutional principle that would shield the military's budget from scrutiny by civilian powers. They say they worry the military would become a state within a state.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. eg

    do wha t matters most

    November 23, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. eg

    indubidedly

    November 23, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. BOND, JAMES

    Camel jockeys anyway

    November 23, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    It is my sincere hope that Egypt finds some measure of peace.

    November 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |