Monday, March 7, 2011

Egyptians attacked at security HQs

A file photo of protests in Egypt

Source: Press TV

Gunmen have attacked Egyptian protesters as they tried to storm the state security headquarters in the capital Cairo to seize documents of the former regime's rights violations.

Armed men assailed hundreds of Egyptian protesters with knives and rocks as they attempted to enter the capital city's security offices on Sunday in order to retrieve records of human rights abuse during the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak.

The army also intervened, firing warning shots and using sticks to disperse the crowd, reports say.

"The protesters were attacked by the thugs that are brought out at all the demonstrations. They had large knives and were throwing large rocks straight at the protesters," AFP quoted a witness as saying.

"The protesters are now really angry and heading to Tahrir (Liberation) Square," the epicenter of anti-regime protests that toppled Mubarak in February, the witness added.

Despite the violence, hundreds managed to storm the internal security organization and seize some dossiers, purportedly on human rights violations.

Around 2,500 protesters stormed the state security building in Cairo's Nasr City "grabbing official documents before officials could burn or shred them," a security officer told AFP.

This comes a day after protesters gathered outside the state security agency in Alexandria, accusing officers inside the building of destroying evidence of rights abuses.

Protesters have called for the closure of the country's security agency, otherwise known as 'Amn al-Dowla', and the prosecution of its leaders.

Rights activists maintain that the agency was the main tool of repression used by Mubarak's regime for approximately 30 years. Under Egypt's emergency law, it routinely arrested citizens and tortured them, activists allege. Since Mubarak's downfall on February 11, the security agencies have remained operational, but have maintained a low profile.

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