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El-Sisi protest call 'not pretext for army to use violence': Military Spokesperson

Protests not intended to provide army with free rein against 'certain groups', army spokesperson says

Ahram Online , Wednesday 24 Jul 2013
Ahmed Mohamed Ali
Egyptian armed forces spokesman Col. Ahmed Mohamed Ali (Photo: AP)
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Protests against terrorism on Friday are not intended to give the army free rein to clampdown on certain groups in society, army spokesperson Ahmed Ali has said.

These protests would form part of the framework for national reconciliation and transitional justice, he insisted.

Army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called for mass demonstrations on Friday to give the military a mandate to crackdown on "violence and terrorism."

Ali said El-Sisi's call was "only an initiative to confront violence and terrorism" against national security and was not an invitation to target particular groups as "some public personalities have claimed in the media."

El-Sisi's call for mass action were made amid continued clashes between supporters and opponents of former president Mohamed Morsi since the army deposed him on 3 July following mass nationwide protests. These clashes left dozens dead and hundreds injured.

On Tuesday, an explosive device went off at a police station in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, the capital of Daqahliya governorate, killing at least one conscript and injuring 19, stoking fear of a possible spike in violence.

50 supporters of the ousted president and an officer were killed during clashes outside the Republican Guard headquarters on 8 July.

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