US, UK condemn deadly violence in Egypt

Tuesday 27-01-2015 09:27 AM
US, UK condemn deadly violence in Egypt

Anti-government protesters run as police arrive during their attempt to walk into Tahrir square in Cairo January 25, 2015. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih


CAIRO, Jan 27 (Aswat Masriya) - The United States and the United Kingdom condemned recent violence in Egypt, which has left nearly two dozen dead. 

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, during a press briefing on Monday, urged Egypt's security forces to show restraint and "to provide a safe environment in which Egyptians can peacefully express their views." 

UK Foreign Office Minister for Middle East Tobias Ellwood "deplored" the recent deaths, in a statement issued on Monday.  Ellwood expressed deep concern, "by the use of deadly force by the police against demonstrators." 

The anniversary of the January 2011 uprising on Sunday was marred by deadly violence. The violence has left 23 dead, according to official figures released by Egypt's ministry of health on Monday afternoon. 

Psaki urged Egyptians to exercise restraint and to "unequivocally condemn all acts of violence." She said, "we strongly condemn the violence that took place over the weekend in Egypt, whether against peaceful protestors or security forces."  

Ellwood said the UK condemns terrorism and "stands by Egypt in the fight against terrorism." 

The most fatal of the clashes took place in the east Cairo neighbourhood of Matariya, a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold, where police sent reinforcements in the late hours of Monday.  

Egypt's interior ministry said in a statement that the reinforcements were sent after "terrorists" belonging to the Brotherhood used live fire and Molotov cocktails against security forces in the neighbourhood.  

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim had said on Monday afternoon that Matariya was under security forces' "full control".   He accused the Brotherhood of causing the violence in the neighbourhood, saying that "the Brotherhood rallied a group of their elements in Matariya, but we dealt with them." 

A total of 516 were arrested from across the nation in the aftermath of the violence. Prosecutors opened an investigation with 43 defendants accused of involvement in the Matariya violence.  

In a statement on Monday morning, international watchdog Human Rights Watch said there is a need in Egypt "for an independent investigation into the authorities' excessive use of force." 

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