Monday, August 19, 2013

Killings continue in Egypt: 36 inmates suffocated, 25 policemen gunned down in Sinai

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The privately-owned Sawt al-Umma newspaper on Sunday carried this sarcastic cartoon of Defense Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on its front page. ´ll of Egypt is al-Sisi´the text reads. No further comment needed.

A security statement confirmed the death of 36 Muslim Brotherhood supporters in custody on Sunday as they reportedly tried to escape from a truck transferring them to a prison facility. 
In its statement, the Ministry of Interior explained that the deaths occurred of suffocation as police fired tear gas to prevent them from fleeing and to liberate an officer who was taken hostage by them inside the truck.
The prisoners were being transferred to the Abu Zaabal facility.The state-run Middle East News Agency reported that the escape attempt involved 612 inmates who were in the convoy as they were being handed to the Abu Zaabal prison facility in Qalyubia. The truck was reportedly attacked by an armed group.
In its narrative of the event, the Muslim Brotherhood said that the number of those killed exceeds 200 and that there was no attempt by the prisoners to escape.

Suspected militants on Monday ambushed two mini-buses carrying off-duty policemen in Egypt's northern Sinai, killing 25 of them execution-style and wounding three, Egyptian state television and news agencies reported.The militants forced the two vehicles to stop, ordered the policemen out and forced them to lie on the ground before they shot them to death, security officials told the Associated Press. The policemen were in civilian clothes, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to the media. The killings took place near the border town of Rafah.

Egypt's army chief General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said on Sunday that protecting the “people’s will” is a greater honour than ruling the country.
In a speech at a meeting with police and military leaders on Sunday, which was recorded and broadcasted shortly afterwards on Egyptian television, the leader of the armed forces said that he warned that political conflict would develop into religious fighting and drag Egypt down a "dark tunnel.”
On the dispersal of the main sit-in by Morsi supporters, which was situated in Cairo’s Nasr City district, El-Sisi said: “Those who were saying we should have dispersed the camp peacefully – we tried … But when army and police forces get attacked by snipers deployed on top of buildings, how do you expect them to react?”
''In such a massive sit-in, it is enough to have some 20, 30 or 50 armed men to turn it into a bloody event.”
''We were given a mandate by the public to deal with potential terrorism, and we acted accordingly … we are keen not to spill blood, but are they?” he continued.
El-Sisi went on to chide western allies and international media who "denied Egyptians their free will and genuine desire for a change," in their support to the army to fight "terrorism." "We have provided many chances…to end the crisis entirely peacefully." He said. "We invited the former regime to rebuild the country's path to democracy and a [have] role in the political process instead of violence and destroying the Egyptian state," he added.

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