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Authorities arrest suspects in Egypt Science Institute Fire

Suspect leads police to alleged fellow perpetrators

MENA, Saturday 24 Dec 2011
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Egyptian authorities have announced the arrest of some of those suspected of being involved in the arson attack on Egypt’s Scientific Institute during amid last week's clashes around the Cabinet offices.

Police investigations identified Moataz Billah, 31, as one of the suspects. He, in turn, led police to the rest of the suspects currently being detained. The suspects have now been referred to the public prosecutor as investigations continue.

The destruction to the 130-year-old building that housed the Institute constitutes a tremendous loss to Egypt. The Institute contained more than 192,000 books, including rare and original manuscripts such as Description De L'Egypt, written by a team of French scientists who accompanied Napoleon Bonaparte during his raid on Egypt in 1798.

An estimated 50,000 books were saved from the fire by volunteers, drawn from among protesters as they were being attacked by the military as well as people moved to respond to a call for assistance.

 

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