Last week, a young protestor was killed during clashes along the Nile corniche. Multiple reports say he was hit in the back of the neck with birdshot, fired most likely by Central Security Forces (CSF).
To those unacquainted with birdshot, imagine buckshot pellets (used in a shotgun), but smaller. The small metal balls are sprayed out at protestors when the Central Security forces fire in a bid to disperse aggressors. Needless to say, while birdshot lacks the force of buckshot, it can lead to painful damage.
The scene out front of the InterContinental Semiramis Hotel was chaotic. Windows were boarded up, and the road had been torn up in order to produce chunks of concrete. As rocks and pavement continued to fly between two sides last week, I watched as scooter after scooter rushed injured protestors from Qasr al Nil bridge to the nearby ambulances, or to the makeshift field hospital in Tahrir Square.
It was heartbreaking to see the agony on the faces of young boys as volunteer nurses and doctors worked to extract the metal from arms, stomachs and legs (sans anathestic, of course). Many of them will get patched up, then run back to the front lines. As Kurt Vonnegut so beautifully remarked:
'So it goes.'