The Egyptian military prosecutor has placed 179 people in custody for 15 days after deadly clashes between demonstrators and troops Friday near the Defense Ministry in Cairo, said on Saturday a military source. After the initial arrest of 320 persons, the military prosecution “decided to hold 179 people, including 13 women, in detention for 15 days pending the outcome of the investigation,” said the source.
After five hours of interrogation during the night, the detainees were accused of attacks against soldiers and army officers, illegal gathering in a military zone and obstructing the work of the armed forces, the source said. They all denied the charges.
Calm returned Saturday to the Ministry of Defense in Cairo, where a night curfew was imposed after clashes between demonstrators and soldiers killed two, including a soldier, and injured nearly 300 others. The head of the military junta, Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the de facto head of state, attended the funeral of the soldier, giving a peculiar solemnity to the ceremony.
The demonstrators were protesting against the military regime accusing it of trying to influence the presidential elections whose first round is scheduled on 23 and 24 May.