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9 foreign nationals detained for alleged role in Cairo clashes

Egypt prosecution orders detention of nine foreign nationals pending investigations into alleged involvement in Cairo downtown clashes

Ahram Online, Tuesday 20 Aug 2013
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A Cairo prosecution office on Tuesday ordered the detention of nine foreign nationals for 15 days pending investigations into the violence that erupted in downtown Cairo on Friday.

The Azbakiya prosecution office is investigating the detainees' alleged role in attempts to storm the Azbakiya police station as well as their alleged involvement in violent clashes with the police at Al-Fath Mosque in Ramses Square, near downtown Cairo.

The prosecution accused them of belonging to a militant group, holding up traffic, possessing firearms, assaulting policemen, attempted murder, intentional torching and attacking public property.

All of the detainees denied the accusations against them. The foreign nationals said they were passing by the area and sought shelter in Al-Fath Mosque when the clashes broke out.

The detainees include four Irish citizens of Egyptian origin, the three daughters and son of Sheikh Hussein Halawa, the Imam of Ireland's largest mosque in Dublin.

Among the detainees are also two Syrians and a Turkish journalist Metin Turan, a correspondent with Turkey's state-run TRT network.

Hundreds of people were arrested on Sunday as security forces cleared Al-Fath Mosque, where Brotherhood supporters had been barricaded over the weekend.

Some 1,500 Brotherhood supporters took refuge in the mosque Friday amid intense clashes on Ramses Square between Morsi supporters and local residents and security forces. 173 were killed in Friday's clashes, according to health ministry figures.

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