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Egypt shakes up police after protests

Cairo, July 13, 2011

Egypt said on Wednesday more than 650 senior officers would end their police service, an unprecedented shake up after protesters demanded reform of a force blamed for killing protesters who ousted Hosni Mubarak.

The announcement by the Interior Ministry follows six days of protests in Cairo and other cities that have included demands for speedier change and faster trials of those behind the deaths of more than 840 demonstrators.          

Egypt's ruling military council has been increasingly targeted by protesters accusing it of failing to purge the system of Mubarak's allies or those behind police brutality.

In another apparent bid to placate critics, an army source said a parliamentary election could take place in November.         

It will still start "procedures" for the election in September, as stipulated by a constitutional agenda, but pushing voting itself back will placate liberal political groups who argued a vote held in September would mainly benefit Islamists.

The army had indicated it could hold voting later but had not said when. The official state news agency, citing a security source, said the vote could happen in October or November.         

The Interior Ministry statement said 505 generals and more than 160 other senior officers would end their service. It was not immediately clear if they were being fired or retiring.         

"This movement (of people) is probably the biggest in the history of the police," Interior Minister Mansour el-Essawy said, adding that 18 of the generals were involved in trials ove the killing of protesters.         

Ministry spokesman General Marwan Mostafa said: "The police force shares with the people feelings of pain and hope. People involved in security are ... keen to do their role in protecting the revolution and look forward to a future of democracy."        

Police were hated for the way they quashed even the smallest protest during Mubarak's rule and were reviled for using live ammunition, rubber bullets, batons and water cannon in the 18-day uprising that led to the president quitting on Feb. 11.  - Reuters    




Tags: Egypt | shake-up | Mubarak | Police |

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