Egypt military court orders detention of 300 protesters

Military police used force to disperse a protest outside the Defence Ministry yesterday, firing tear gas, water cannons, and live ammunition.

Cairo: Egypt`s military prosecutors on Saturday ordered the detention of 300 people for 15 days in connection with deadly clashes between anti-military protesters and soldiers that claimed two lives, amid criticism over a violent crackdown.

Military police used force to disperse a protest outside the Defence Ministry yesterday, firing tear gas, water cannons, and live ammunition.

Anti-military protesters clashed with troops, leaving a soldier and another person dead and prompting the military to impose an overnight curfew.

The 300 protesters have been charged with assaulting army forces, joining a group to undermine public security, assembling on public roads and hampering public transportation.

They are also charged with gathering in a military location they were prohibited from, according to a local watchdog, `The Front to Defend Egypt`s Protesters`.

Military prosecutors said the 300, including nine journalists, "will be held for 15 days pending investigation" into clashes in the Abbassiya district on Friday that left two people including a soldier dead and at least 300 injured.

Following yesterday`s crackdown, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the violent response of the army, and stressed "the people`s right" to demonstrate in a peaceful manner, his deputy spokesperson Eduardo Del Buey said.

Following the breakup of the sit-in in Abbasseya, the Front to Defend Egypt`s Protesters claimed that the military had committed several violations, including random arrests of people and targeting of journalists.

The military also imposed an overnight curfew around the defence ministry for a second successive night today, the source said.

PTI