08/19/2013, 00.00
EGYPT
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General al-Sisi: We will not tolerate the destruction of the country

The head of the Armed Forces says the military will not tolerate further unrest. The death toll from the last 5 days of clashes exceeds 850 dead. This morning, 24 police officers killed in the Sinai. Europe and the United States discuss viability of economic and military aid to the country.

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - "We will not stand by watching the destruction of our country in silence", says Egyptian Minister of Defense and Chief of the Armed Forces General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.  His statement follows the death of 36 Islamist prisoners north of Cairo. "In Egypt, there is room for all political voices, even for the supporters of Mohammed Morsi - continues the General - but only on condition that they review their positions."

The death toll from the latest wave of violence that erupted August 14 now stands at 850 with more than 100 of these belonging to the ranks of the security forces and the army. This morning, at least 24 policemen were killed in the Sinai Peninsula, increasingly unstable due to a growing Islamist militancy.

Yesterday, at least 36 prisoners were killed in an escape attempt in the province of Qalyubia, north of Cairo, the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood accused the police of having committed a "cold-blooded murder." According to Ministry of the Interior sources the prisoners choked to death on tear gas fired by the police.

Meanwhile, Europe and the United States are re-evaluating their plans for economic and military aid to the Egyptian Armed Forces. This morning, a group of diplomats from the European Union Security Committee met in Brussels to discuss a new approach which aims to stop the violence in the country. "The European Union is preparing to revise its relations with Egypt - said the President of the Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso - the cry for democracy and fundamental freedoms launched by the Egyptian people can neither be ignored nor drowned in blood ".

 

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