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    Posted August 14, 2013 by
    AmirBeshay
    Location
    Mohandessin, Egypt
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Protests in Egypt: Your experiences

    More from AmirBeshay

    Eyewitness Report

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Bank worker AmirBeshay arrived at work in Giza's Mostafa Mahmoud Square Wednesday morning to find tense scenes as Egyptian security forces moved in on pro-Morsy protester camps in the city of Cairo. Minutes after he arrived at work he captured these images from his office window of protesters milling about the square, which is a few kilometers away from the protest sites. "I heard gunshots and saw people setting fire to tires and throwing stones, there were no police close," he said. At that point the building's security guards urged everyone to leave, and they raced to their cars to head home. "We managed to get out before it got too serious," he said. "The whole area is now blocked, it's a bit like a war zone." Now safely at home in eastern Cairo, which he will soon leave to study in New York, he contemplated what could happen next in the troubled city. "There are a couple of options for the future -- either a stronger military crackdown with emergency laws, or things will escalate and become more violent," he said.
    - sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    These two photos were taken just minutes apart earlier this morning from our office overlooking Mostafa Mahmoud Square in Giza’s Mohandessin district. Here is my personal eyewitness report of how the morning started before we left.

     

    As a (female) friend and I arrived into Game’et el Dowal street around 8 in the morning, we could hear gunshots and the road was blocked, and I personally saw a rock being thrown, no clue by who or on whom. We had to take a side road, then got out of the car some 500 meters away from work and ran the rest of the way with people all around (including a police officer) telling us it’s not safe. Security at our building rushed us into the elevator, and we went to the office to presumably start our day.

     

    Minutes into starting our work, we could hear shouts out the window and the occasional gunshot. We looked out, and the scene we saw is the one you see on the right above. Up until then, it seemed like it was a small scuffle, but then the noise started getting louder and we started seeing rising smoke. We looked out the window, and were met with the scene in the picture on the left. Tires were being set on fire, people on motorcycles were flooding into the square, the road was blocked on both sides, and a crowd was starting to form outside the mosque.

     

    This is when our security started coming up and telling us we had to leave. They said they saw people shooting at the police and that the police (who are usually traffic police in this area when there’s nothing going on) couldn’t do anything and left. They also said there were Molotov cocktails and the main road was completely blocked. We evacuated the building, in a scene reminiscent of the 1992 earthquake, and got into the cars waiting right outside the building to get us out of the area.

     

    The above is what I personally saw between 8 and 9:30 in the morning today, August 14th, 2013. From what I hear, things got much worse in the area afterwards. From the graffiti shown in footage of the area after we left, it’s obvious the people who were barricading the mosque, blocking the square, and shooting live ammo were supporters’ of former president Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in what I believe is retaliation for the breaking up of their allegedly peaceful sit-ins earlier in the morning.

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