SCAF denies responsibility for violence, will hold press conference Thursday

SCAF denies responsibility for violence, will hold press conference Thursday

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Wed, 02/05/2012 - 21:34

Egypt’s ruling military council is to hold a press conference on Thursday to give its views on the recent clashes in Abbasseya that left 11 killed, MENA reported.

MENA added that the press conference will also tackle recent political developments. The news agency didn’t give further details.

Eleven people were killed in Cairo on Wednesday when armed men attacked protesters demanding an end to army rule.

On Wednesday, the army said it is not responsible for the killing of protesters, adding that it didn’t intend to break up the sit-in violently.

The administrator of the military council’s official Facebook page wrote: “The armed forces have over the last week endured what it cannot tolerate of insults and attacks from demonstrators in front of the Defense Ministry.”

He added that various attempts were made to convince the protesters to transfer their sit-in to Tahrir Square, but the protesters refused.

“We have tried in various ways to persuade the protesters to go to Tahrir Square or demonstrate on the sidewalk so as to open the street for traffic, but they refused. Attempts by Parliament have all failed.”

The statement on the page repeated the military’s popular refrain that it remains neutral toward all political forces, saying, “We have not dealt with [the protesters] as a faction, but as Egyptian citizens.”

The statement continued: “They were intransigent and insisting on escalating matters, an escalation that was mentioned in the media and on the Internet. They even used verses from the Quran urging for jihad. We do not know jihad against whom, and why they want to pull the armed forces into clashes.”