Egypt clashes leave 43 security personnel killed: MOI

Ahram Online, Wednesday 14 Aug 2013

Egypt's interior minister says security forces clearing pro-Morsi sit-ins acted with utmost restraint; accuses pro-Morsi protesters of raiding 21 police stations

Egypt clashes leave 43 security personnel killed: MOI
Egypt's interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egyptian Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim held a press conference Wednesday after the main sit-ins of supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo and Giza were cleared.

According to Ibrahim, violence nationwide left at least 43 members of the police killed - 18 officers and 25 soldiers - and 211 injured. He added that 21 police stations were raided by supporters of the Brotherhood Wednesday.

Kerdasa police station in Giza was attacked using rocket-propelled grenades and two police officers were killed.

"Many protesters fired excessively from roof tops [at Rabaa sit-in in Nasr City] on security forces," said Ibrahim, claiming that security forces "only used tear gas to disperse the protests."

Ibrahim, who described pro-Morsi protesters as an "armed gang," said scores of weapons were confiscated during the dispersal, including grenades, guns and bullet-proof vests. 

He added that at least seven churches were destroyed or torched Wednesday by suspected Islamists.

When asked about newly established sit-ins by the Brotherhood, Ibrahim said that both the police and army would disperse any new assemblies in accordance with the law.

Following the dispersal, several pro-Morsi protesters camped in front of Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque in Giza's Mohandiseen district.

Ibrahim also denied media reports of the arrest of eight Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including Mohamed El-Beltagy and Safwat Hegazy.

He further criticised "the exaggerated numbers of those slain announced by some media," affirming that security forces were determined to keep the casualities as low as possible. 

At least 150 civilians were been killed in Wednesday's violence, according to the Ministry of Health. The Muslim Brotherhood has claimed the death toll has exceeded 2000.

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