- North Africa
- Conflicts - Governance - Security
Egypt’s anti-democracy militias raise concern
As Egypt’s pro-democracy activists protested for reform of the security services, men in plain clothes armed with swords and petrol bombs attacked the rally that took place in front of the interior ministry building.
"The army started firing in the air to disperse us. We tried to run away but we were met by 200 thugs in plain clothes carrying sharp weapons," Mohammed Fahmy told Reuters news agency.
Some analysts have described the attackers as a new anti-democracy militia. The attack was the first such attack against the protesters since Mubarak left office last month. More reports about the possible anti-democracy militia, their affiliation and the number of casualties in Sunday’s attack would follow.
The secret police service was the effrontery centre of the Hosni Mubarak government and protesters say they had evidence of a parallel state structure that monitored all aspects of life in Egypt.
The pro-democracy activists want a complete reform of the entire security system because transcribed phone calls between university professors, political activists, and opposition figures have been found.
Mohammed Abdelfattah, a protester who raided the headquarters in Nasr City, told reporters there that evidence of torture was also found.
The secret police is highly despised by the Egyptian public because the institution overwhelmingly served Mubarak and his loyalists rather than the people.
“I hope Egypt’s security would in future serve the citizens,” Nabil Elaraby, Egypts newly installed prime minister told a crowd of thousands in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday.
Elaraby has also announced his new cabinet to run the country until elections are held.
The new cabinet, which would be approved by the country’s interim military rulers, is likely to be accepted by the pro-democracy activists because it is void of Mubarak’s loyalists.