Egyptian Scientific Institute Burns amid Ongoing Clashes

December 17, 2011 . By

As clashes continue between protesters and military police in Cairo, the death toll has increased to 10—and number of injured to 432—according to a Health Ministry spokesman. The report indicates that six of the deaths are a result of the use of live ammunition, despite “the new Prime Minister [Kamal al-Ganzouri] having denied that live fire was being used by his forces.”

The areas of confrontation between state security and protesters included the renowned Egyptian Scientific Institute, where historical manuscripts and other documents, some hundreds of years old, were destroyed when the Institute caught fire during the clashes. The circumstances surrounding the start of the fire are unclear—some eyewitness reports indicate that a protestor threw a Molotov cocktail that ignited the fire, though CNN indicates that a “massive explosion erupted [during the conflict], apparently originating from inside the building.” Security forces had reportedly arrayed themselves on the roof of the Institute, where they threw rocks and directed water hoses at demonstrators.