CAIRO, Aug. 1 (UPI) — Military personnel, helped by civilians, broke down tents and dispersed protesters to clear Tahrir Square in Cairo to traffic Monday, officials said.
Witnesses said army forces fired warning shots in the air and protesters responded by hurling stones before the square was cleared, al-Masry al-Youm reported.
Local business owners cheered as the forces closed the square’s entrances before clearing the protesters who have been staging a sit-in since July 8.
“This is what you should have done three weeks ago,” one man yelled at the army.
Civilians, many armed with clubs, were in Tahrir Square to help tear down the tent city erected early last month by demonstrators and families of people killed during the uprising that led to former President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster. The demonstrators wanted to pressure the ruling military council for justice.
Twenty-nine political groups announced Sunday they would suspend their sit-in during the holy month of Ramadan, which started Monday.