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Egyptian army cadets assault Cairo police station

Egyptian army cadets assault Cairo police station

A group of Egyptian army cadets stormed a police station in a southern suburb of Cairo, injuring at least five policemen and three cadets, a security official said Wednesday.
The attack was shocking for a tightly controlled security state like Egypt where the nation's two most powerful institutions, the army and the police, rarely clash.
Video footage filmed during the attack on Monday night showed chanting youths in plainclothes throwing rocks at the police station and destroying a parked car in the gritty southern industrial suburb of Helwan.
The cadets could be seen running around swearing loudly and smashing the police station's glass sign to the ground.
The footage, taken by mobile phone cameras, had been posted by blogger activist Wael Abbas, who said he received the video in an anonymous e-mail. His Web site Misr Digital has hosted numerous videos of police torture, which have proved authentic.
The security official confirmed the incident and said the attack came after the local police chief arrested a cadet on the Thursday evening for loitering on a street corner and refusing to show identification.
The cadet was taken back to the police station, beaten and held overnight, said the official on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
On Monday night, the cadet gathered his fellow cadets and surrounded the station, chanting anti-police insults and throwing fire crackers. Police fired gun shots during the clashes, injuring the cadets.
Rights groups say torture, including sexual abuse, is routine in police stations during interrogation, but the government denies the problem is systematic.
Although there have been isolated cases of police officers prosecuted for abuse, there is a widespread perception that they are above the law.
Army personnel, however are not under police jurisdiction and can only be arrested by special military police.
Egyptian media has been put under a strict gag order not to publish the story of the attack.
The most high profile clash between Egypt's police and military took place in 1986 when recruits Central Security recruits rioted over low pay, requiring the army to quell the revolt.
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Updated : 2021-03-08 07:07 GMT+08:00