Nightly News | November 21, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Now to Egypt where it was almost a year ago now when we arrived to see those huge crowds in Tahrir Square . The resulting revolution ousted Mubarak . The military was running things until elections, but tonight we are at it again. There's the scene. More violence, more bloodshed in that same place and new questions about Egypt 's near future. Our chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel is right back there tonight. Richard , good evening.
RICHARD ENGEL reporting: Good evening, Brian . Last time they toppled a dictator in this square . Now they want his army to go. Egyptians in Tahrir Square today took on their army and police with stones and Molotov cocktails . Police fired burning, choking clouds of tear gas . Protesters tried to throw them right back. They toppled President Hosni Mubarak last February. Now Egyptians want to overthrow the army that took over for him and promised to bring democracy.
Unidentified Man #1:
ENGEL: 'The same people are in power. Nothing has changed. They are worse than the past regime,' this man said. But fighting police and soldiers with stones comes at a cost. The injured are brought to this makeshift infirmary here in the square where volunteers try and revive them. Almost everyone is suffocating from tear gas . The injured often came in limp, sprawled out on carpets, some very young, treated with disinfectant and eye drops. And the Egyptian military is using more than tear gas . At least 30 demonstrators have been killed since yesterday. This video has become a new icon. Egyptian troops last night dragging what appeared to be a dead protester. For the United States this second revolt is a dilemma. Washington backs Egypt 's pro- democracy movement , but also backs its old ally the Egyptian military and arms it. The tear gas in Tahrir is American made . Protesters told me so are other supposed crowd control devices.
Unidentified Man #2:
ENGEL: He's showing me one of the shotgun shells and it does clearly say " Made in the USA ." In the square demonstrators prayed in defiance, some wearing gas masks , calling for the army to step down. As you can see, Brian , there are still tens of thousands of people here in Tahrir Square . They've set up tents. They are spending the night. They'll be using these tents tomorrow when they plan to have a million man march in this city. And once again, the future of Egypt and who controls it is at stake.
WILLIAMS: So, Richard , one way of asking it, the last time you and I walked through there it was a sunny afternoon. We met, talked to a lot of people. If we could go back and find those same people, what have their lives been like in the interim? Has it been a kind of suspended animation for them?
ENGEL: They have put their faith in the Egyptian army and the Egyptian military to bring democracy here and bring a degree of prosperity. That was the deal that they made when President Mubarak stepped down. The economy here is still in shambles, no tourists are coming, and democracy didn't seem like it was on the horizon and that's why they took to the streets again.
WILLIAMS: All right, Richard Engel back again, Tahrir Square in Cairo . Richard , thanks.