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Egyptian army willing to use force against the protesters

An unpleasant opinion regarding regime change in Egypt is that the army has successfully ascended to the apex of power in that state and is unlikely to relinquish that position any time soon.  This article from Al Jazeera supports that outlook, which describes the Army clearing Tahrir Square yesterday and also includes statements from the Army suggesting that force is in its repertoire for restoring order in Egypt.

“Tahrir Square will be emptied of protesters with firmness and force to ensure life goes back to normal,” the council’s Major General Adel Emarah said.

The protest that security forces broke up was taking place during the 2am-5am curfew.  Notably, several army officers were partaking in the demonstration, and those who didn’t flee were arrested.

Protesters and army soldiers threw rocks at each other, and at least four injured protesters had to be carried away, he said. Soldiers fired their guns into metal shopfronts, sending sparks flying and bullets ricocheting, apparently to scare away the protesters, Storey said.

The army will be able to spin this as simply breaking up a violation of the curfew.  Perhaps that really is all that happened.  But it suggests that the army, which is popular in Egypt, may begin to see its favored status wane.  Egyptians may be coming to the realization that the army is not the change from Mubarak that they want, and that the army is now firmly entrenched.

“The military council is part and parcel of the corrupt regime. It is made up of heads of the army that have benefited from Mubarak and his 30 years of robbing the Egyptian people,” said Abdullah Ahmed, 45, a protester in Tahrir.

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