SCAF general testifies Brotherhood helped protect Tahrir in the Battle of the Camel

Ahram Online, Tuesday 10 Jul 2012

General Hassan El-Roueini testifies in court under oath that the Muslim Brotherhood helped protect anti-Mubarak protesters, not kill them as Ahmed Shafiq claimed during Egypt's presidential contest

Battle of the Camel
A supporter of President Hosni Mubarak, on camel, fights with anti-Mubarak protesters in Tahrir 2 February 2011 (Photo:Reuters)

General Hassan El-Roueini gave his testimony on the infamous Battle of the Bamel on Tuesday in the ongoing trial of figures facing charges of instigating the bloody incident in a Cairo criminal court.

The Battle of the Camel took place on 2 February during the 18 days of the January 25 uprising, where pro-Mubarak individuals wielding knives and swords stormed Tahrir Square on camels and horses, killing 11 protesters and injuring more than 2000. 

On trial are 25 high officials of the disbanded National Democratic Party, which ruled for thirty years and are accused of having orchestrated the bloody attacks. 

El-Roueini, member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), testified that he saw no signs of armed people on the rooftops of the building surrounding Tahrir between 2 and 3 February, as some have recently claimed, stressing that the military was monitoring the area surrounding the Square using helicopters.

"On 2 February, I received reports of supporters of the ousted president reaching the square," El-Roueini said. He recounted that they were later joined by more supporters of Mubarak on thirteen horses and one camel, and it was then that clashes erupted.

The general added that no deaths were reported to him, only a few injuries.

During his testimony, El-Roueini revealed that during the clashes he called a prominent political figure, whose name he refused to provide, and urged him to ask Mubarak's "supporters to withdraw from the square or the country will catch fire."

"It was later reported to me that the Muslim Brotherhood were the ones who prevented the clashes on the Square from escalating," added El-Roueini

In June, Ahmed Shafiq who was acting as Mubarak's prime minister during the bloody battle accused the Muslim Brotherhood of killing protesters by throwing Molotov cocktails from the roof tops of buildings in Tahrir Square.

Shafiq narrowly lost a hotly-contested 16-17 June presidential runoff to Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi.

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