Hundreds detained over clashes at Egypt's Defence Ministry

Arab World Materials 5 May 2012 18:51 (UTC +04:00)

Around 300 people were arrested, including 16 women, following the clashes that erupted outside Egypt's Defence Ministry, lawyers said Saturday, dpa reported.

Troops removed protesters from the Al Abassiya area in eastern Cairo after soldiers guarding the ministry and anti-military demonstrators threw stones at each other.

The Front to Defend Egypt's Protesters, a group of volunteering lawyers, said only one girl was released because she was 14 years old. The other 15 women got a 15-day detention pending investigation.

The detainees are accused of attacking troops, disturbing public security and disruption of public transport.

The military held a funeral earlier Saturday for a special forces soldier killed during clashes that broke out during an attempt by protesters to march on the Defence Ministry.

Hundreds were injured in the fighting, state media reported.

The latest violence comes less than three weeks before the presidential election, Egypt's first since a popular revolt removed Hosny Mubarak from power in February 2011.

The junta that followed Mubarak has repeatedly pledged to transfer power to an elected civilian authority by the end of June.