We do not take sides in palace clashes, Egypt interior ministry official says

Ahram Online, Thursday 6 Dec 2012

Security forces are neutral in clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi protesters at presidential palace and only intervene to subdue violence, an interior ministry official says

The interior ministry is not taking sides in the ongoing clashes between supporters and opponents of President Morsi outside the presidential palace, a security official at the ministry has said.

Security forces only intervened in clashes on Wednesday and early Thursday in an attempt to subdue the violence, he told state news agency MENA on Thursday.

Moreover, security forces only started firing tear gas in an attempt to divide the two groups, he added.

The current violence has left six dead and over 450 injured, the interior ministry has announced.

Police withdrew from the presidential palace on Tuesday when protesters arrived to demonstrate against the president's constitutional declaration and the draft constitution. Supporters of President Morsi attacked an opposition sit-in at the palace on Wednesday. Police returned in attempt to divide the fighting groups.

The interior ministry has been widely condemned for its brutality against opposition activists at previous protests. Most recently for its attacks on a protest and sit-in against the constitutional declaration in Tahrir Square.  

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