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350 injured in Israeli embassy violence

2011-05-17 07:39

CAIRO - Over 350 people were injured on Monday in violence after a protest erupted outside the Israeli Embassy in Cairo to mark the 63rd anniversary for the Palestinian Nakba Day.

Thousands of Egyptians gathered in front of the Israeli embassy building in Giza since late Sunday to marked the Nakba, or catastrophe, after the Egyptian authorities banned them from commemorating the day with a huge protest at the Rafah border crossing with Gaza.

Violence took place on Monday when Egyptian military police deployed at the site used tear gas and fired into the air to disperse demonstrators who tried to break into the embassy and called for ousting the Israeli ambassador.

Some 353 people were wounded, of whom 45 were transferred to hospitals, Assistant Health Minister Dr Abdel Hamid Abaza was quoted by state MENA news agency on Monday.

Injuries are ranging between suffocation from tear gas inhalation and bruises, Abaza said.

The military arrested 186 protesters, who were referred to military prosecution for investigation on charges of attacking public servants on duty and damaging public property, according to MENA.

In addition to these charges, some other detainees will be accused of thuggery and rioting.

The protestors held Palestinian flags and shouted anti-Israel statements, burning Israeli flag and calling for permanent opening of Rafah border crossing for their Palestinian fellows in Gaza.

After the massive protests toppled former President Hosni Mubarak in February, the Egyptian armed forces and caretaker government showed a readjustment of the former government's foreign policy and adopted a more pro-Palestinian stance.

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