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Egypt's Gamaa Islamiya to form 'militias' in Assiut to replace striking police

Following nationwide strike by Egyptian police, ultra-conservative Islamist group says it will not allow Assiut to remain within security vacuum

Ahram Online, Friday 8 Mar 2013
Assem Abdel-Maguied
Egypt's Gamaa Islamiya's Assem Abdel-Maged (Photo: AO)
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Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya on Friday announced plans to establish "security militias" to protect the Upper Egyptian city of Assiut if Egyptian police – large numbers of whom have gone on strike – failed to return to work.

"Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya in Assiut will take over responsibility for the security of the city after hundreds of policemen went on strike and closed the police stations," the group said in a Friday statement.

The announcement was made at the group's headquarters in Assiut.

Police personnel began a strike on Friday in the city's five police stations to demand the resignation of Egypt's interior minister.

Assem Abdel-Maged, a senior member of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, said the ultra-conservative Islamist group would not allow the city to remain in a security vacuum.

Abdel-Maged added that the group had begun setting up "security militias" tasked with securing public and private property in the city, especially banks.

He added that Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya would secure all areas that had been abandoned by police. He also said that the group might coordinate its movements with Egypt's interior ministry.

"Any policeman who wants to leave his position can do so. But he will not be allowed to come back," Abdel-Maged said. "We want to purge the ministry of such elements anyway."

However, a senior member of Assiut's security directorate told Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website that the government would "not allow anyone but police" to keep the peace in the city.

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CJ
10-03-2013 04:59am
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Careful
Careful people - forming militias is the first step to all out civil war.
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Democracia
09-03-2013 12:30pm
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Oh fine...
Oh fine, terrorists and fundamentalists take over the role of the police... Congratulation Egypt!
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abdulrahman
09-03-2013 09:57am
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Warning Signs of Impending Lawlessness
So all cities, towns and villages will follow suit to form their own independent militia units to maintain order. This is lawlessness as they are not empowered by any law to do so. Egypt must be governed by the rule of law beginning with all levels of Government, Institutions and citizens complying with the provision of the Constitution. The governance, administration and enforcement must be according to the the law. No group or individual possess the right to act as a policeman or police force without the written provision of the law.
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expat
09-03-2013 09:45am
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they think,their dream is already coming true...
a little early,the bearded killers.... they should be patient,the road is anyway leading to their side
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Ahmed M Ibrahim
09-03-2013 09:30am
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Terrible idea
The greatest threat to the security of the citizens and the country as a whole is the Gamaa Islamiyya. Any attempt to form militias would mean the beginning of the end of law and order in the country.
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