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Egypt: army claims it was provoked into violent action against protesters

Egypt: army claims it was provoked into violent action against protesters
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Have the demonstrations in Egypt been an incitement to provoke the armed forces or a reaction to heavy handed military tactics? The street protests in Cairo and Alexandria have left at least 51 dead.

The army reaction has been unequivocal and by highlighting several incidents in red boxes showing gun flashes from the protesters side have pointed the blame at the demonstrators.

The footage was played to reporters at a briefing where a spokesman referred to the, “other side” moving with violence in mind.

He said any protesters who wanted to demonstrate peacefully would be protected and stressed the army wanted to help create a democratic state in Egypt.

Army spokesman Ahmed Mohammed Ali said the army is still a target.

“Despite all the measures taken by the armed forces, there have been calls for violence and continued acts of provocation to get protesters to commit acts of violence against military and strategic institutions,” he said.

It is claimed that a number of police officers and three soldiers have been killed and 40 wounded in clashes outside the Republican guard compound in Cairo. The military allege what it called a “terrorist group” tried to storm the compound and that soldiers returned fire when they were attacked by armed assailants.

It was the deadliest incident since former President Mohammed Mursi was removed from power.