Sunday, January 30, 2011

Egyptian armed forces try to maintain control

Fighter jets swooped low over Cairo on Sunday in what appeared to be an attempt by the military to show its control of a city beset by looting, armed robbery and anti-government protests.

Minutes before the start of a 4 pm (1400 GMT) curfew, at least two jets appeared and made multiple passes over downtown, including a central square where thousands of protesters were calling for the departure of President Hosni Mubarak.

Police could be seen returning to some streets nearly two days after virtually disappearing, creating a security vacuum only partially filled by the presence of army troops backed by tanks at key sites around this city of 18 million people.

After days of escalating chaos, gangs of armed men attacked at least four jails across Egypt before dawn Sunday, helping to free hundreds of Muslim militants and thousands of other inmates.

Rightarida beleives the tanks were US Abrams M1-A1, the jets were US F-16Ds and the helicopter was an Russian Mi-8. 

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