Egypt's military says Coptic protesters attacked soldiers

Cairo, Egypt (PANA) - Egypt's powerful military, which is ruling the north African country in the interim, has said its soldiers were attacked by protesters armed with swords, firebombs and rocks during a rally by Coptic Christians earlier this week that left dozens dead and hundreds injured.

Addressing a press conference in Cairo on Wednesday, spokesman Gen. Adel Emarah denied that the military police fired live ammunition against the protesters or intentionally crushed them with armored vehicles

Showing videos from Sunday night's events, in the worst violence since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted, Emarah said some religious leaders and public figures incited protesters to violently take over the state TV building in Maspero.

Emarah, who showed videos in which protesters took over armoured vehicles and drove over protesters to counter reports that it was done by the military, said running over people ''was not part of the dictionary" of the Egyptian Armed Forces.

On his part, ruling council member Gen. Mahmoud Hegazy said “Egyptian soldiers never shot any Egyptian citizen", adding that if they had used their weapons, it would have turned out to be a major disaster.

Hegazy did not dismiss the possibility that infiltrators had penetrated Sunday's protests, and warned 'foreign hands' not to block Egypt's progress towards a transition to democratic rule.

He said the army had launched an investigation into the tragic clashes.
-0- PANA MI/SEG 13Oct2011

13 october 2011 10:05:18

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