No deaths have been reported in the clashes between unidentified armed men and supporters of excluded presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail on Saturday evening, according to the Ministry of Defense.
In the Abbasseya area of Cairo, near the Ministry of Defense, men used Molotov cocktails to attack the protesters, who threw rocks back at them. Buckshot wounds were also reported by witnesses attempting to rescue the injured.
Witnesses also said Molotov cocktails were thrown from atop nearby buildings.
Several injuries have been reported by witnesses, and a field hospital was quickly set up. Mona Saeed, who volunteered in the hospital, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the injuries were mostly caused by buckshot.
One protester was hit with live ammunition to his head and his condition remains critical, according to the hospital volunteers. Other people hit by live ammunition were taken to a nearby public hospital, as they suffered intensive bleeding.
Abu Ismail's supporters, who have been camping in the area, formed human shields to stop the clashes, while chanting "God is great" and "Down with military rule."
Abu Ismail's supporters have been staging a sit-in near the Ministry of Defense since Friday night to protest his exclusion from the presidential race. The sit-in also included other protesters who demanded a swift handover of power from the military to a civilian authority, and lifting the judicial immunity of the Presidential Elections Commission.
The Salafi preacher called on people through his Facebook page to join his supporters in Abbasseya. "I call on the people of the nearby neighborhoods to go immediately to the area to increase numbers, so that we don't get more attacks on the fewer people there. Quickly go. Everyone has to expect anything at any moment," he wrote.
A march of a few hundred protesters reached the scene after midnight. They chanted, "we're protesting, and the right is on our side; the [military] council is challenging us."field hospital, Abu Ismail, Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, Molotov cocktails, Mona Saeed, Ministry of Defense