Interior minister: Anyone who attempts to break into ministry will be shot

Anyone who attempts to break into the Interior Ministry will be shot, Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy said in an interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm.

He will not allow police stations to be broken into and gave instructions to the Giza Security Chief to use live ammunition if the building was broken into, Essawy said.

On 9 September, dozens of protesters broke into the Israeli Embassy in Giza and protested before the nearby Saudi Embassy and Giza Security Directorate, hurling stones at the security forces inside.

Essawy said the ministry does not have a sniper department but officers from its various departments have taken a sniper training course, which is organized in coordination with the armed forces.

Over 41 years, 1366 officers have taken the course.

An investigative report published by Al-Masry Al-Youm last week found that the Interior Ministry, led by former Minister Habib al-Adly, used snipers to kill protesters during the 18-day revolution which ousted former President Hosni Mubarak.

Fires broke out at several police stations during the revolution and the Interior Ministry claimed those who attacked the stations were thugs. Some, however, say the fires were part of a conspiracy by the authorities to create chaos and sabotage the revolution.

Essawy said that talk of million-man protests in Tahrir was “false” because the total surface area of the square and surrounding streets is 100,000 square meters, which can accommodate a maximum of between 300,000 and 400,000 protesters.

The number of protesters in Tahrir on the 28 January – known as the Friday of Anger – was 200,000 to 300,000, he said.

Essawy also said that the ministry’s headquarters was evacuated on 30 January and added that if he were there on that day, he would not have left the building.

He said he would have fired at anyone who entered the building, since he is a policeman who is aware of his rights and duties.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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