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Egypt's military rulers deny army fired on protesters

Arab World Materials 12 October 2011 18:34
Egypt's military rulers denied on Wednesday that troops had fired on protesters during clashes at the weekend with Coptic Christians.
Egypt's military rulers deny army fired on protesters

Egypt's military rulers denied on Wednesday that troops had fired on protesters during clashes at the weekend with Coptic Christians, state television reported.

"Egyptian soldiers never shoot on civilians. If they had used their weapons (against protesters), the results would have been catastrophic," Mahmoud Hegazi, a member of the country's ruling military council, told a press conference in Cairo broadcast on state television, dpa reported.

Some 26 people were killed and more than 300 were injured on Sunday during clashes in central Cairo between soldiers and Christians protesting the destruction of a church.

Hegazy blamed the incident on unnamed individuals, whom he accused of inciting violence and contacting foreign powers seeking to interfere in Egypt's affairs.

Adel Emara, another member of the military council, denied that armoured vehicles were deliberately driven into the demonstrators.

"Drivers of those vehicles were in panic after their vehicles were torched. And when they tried to leave them, stones were thrown at them," Emara said during the joint press conference with Hegazi.

Egypt's military rulers, who took control of the country after popular protests drove president Hosny Mubarak from power earlier this year, have been criticized at home and abroad for using excessive violence against the protesters.

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