- Life Style
Thugs looting residential neighborhoods and intimidating civilians are government-hires, say eyewitnesses.
In Nasr City, an Eastern Cairo neighborhood, residents attempting to restore security told Al-Masry Al-Youm that looters were caught yesterday.
“They were sent by the government. The government got them out of prison and told them to rob us,” says Nameer Nashaat, a resident working alongside other youths to preserve order in the district. “When we caught them, they said that the Ministry of Interior has sent them.”
In Masr al-Qadeema, another district, scrap metal dealer Khaled Barouma, confirmed the same account. “The government let loose convicts. They let them out of prisons. We all know them in this neighborhood,” he said, adding that the neighborhood’s youth is trying to put the place in order by patrolling its streets with batons.
“The government wants people to believe that this is an uprising of convicts, which is not the case. The government is the one that is a criminal,” Khalil Fathy, a local journalist covering the events closely, said.
In Rehab City, a wealthy gated community in New Cairo, masked thugs broke through a civilian barricade in a truck and were caught by a neighborhood watch that has been guarding the city this evening.
"Even though we caught the ones we saw, now that they're in, we know that more will be coming and we're all running to protect our families and houses," said Karim el-Dib, one of the men guarding the community.
Meanwhile, protestors caught two police informants attempting to rob a bank in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. Ayman Nour, opposition leader and head of the Ghad Party, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that his fellow party members have caught several thugs who work for the Interior Ministry. After capturing them in downtown Cairo and Heliopolis, Nour's followers found ministry of interior IDs on them, Nour said. “The regime is trying to project the worst image possible to make it clear to people that they have only one of two alternatives: either the existing order or chaos,” he said. Scores of looting incidents have been reported since yesterday. Many residential neighborhoods have been attacked by thugs and ex-convicts, despite military presence.
Yesterday, President Hosni Mubarak ordered the army to intervene and maintain public order after the police apparatus had failed to abort large protests demanding his ouster. Given the sweeping acts of vandalism, opposition leader Nour wondered about the military’s stance on the ongoing chaos. “The army’s position is still unclear,” he said.