Gunmen hid inside mosque during Abbasiya clashes: Military source

Ahram Online, Monday 7 May 2012

A military source says gunmen were situated at the Nour Mosque in Abbasiya during Friday’s clashes in front of the Ministry of Defence’s headquarters

(Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Unknown gunmen were situated at the Nour Mosque during Friday’s clashes that took in front of the Ministry of Defence’s headquarters in Cairo’s Abbasiya area, a military source revealed.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, because he is not authorised to speak to the media, said the assailants had used hand-made firearms, saying at least two automatic rifles were found inside the Nour Mosque in Abbasiya.

He also said the military prosecution is on the brink of naming the suspected instigators of the violent events, which saw at least two killed and hundreds injured, saying all suspects will be subpoened regardless of their political affiliations or the posts they hold.

“Some videos show that certain people have directly incited violence; these videos are being reviewed by the military prosecution,” the source said.

He also stressed that all the journalists who were captured during the turmoil have been released after their respective employers confirmed they were in Abbasiya for media coverage.

“However,” he said, “that does not mean they have been acquitted as the investigations are still underway.; whoever proves to be involved will appear before a [military] court.”

More than 300 people were arrested during Friday’s mass demonstration against Egypt’s ruling military council held outside the defence ministry in Cairo’s Abbasiya district, which turned violent.

While 15 female detainees have since been released, hundreds remain in military detention and face charges ranging from infringing on state institutions and violence against military personnel to halting traffic, illegal assembly and trespassing in restricted military areas.

On Saturday, military police violently dispersed a protest in front of C28 – the headquarters of Egypt's military prosecution – held by activists to show solidarity with their arrested compatriots. At least three activists were arrested and several more injured by heavy-handed policing tactics.

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