News / Africa

Egyptian Military Apologizes for Using Force on Protesters

An Egyptian army soldier watches thousands of Egyptian gather at Tahrir Square, the focal point of the Egyptian uprising, flashing Egyptian and Tunisan flags in Cairo, February 25, 2011
An Egyptian army soldier watches thousands of Egyptian gather at Tahrir Square, the focal point of the Egyptian uprising, flashing Egyptian and Tunisan flags in Cairo, February 25, 2011

The Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces, currently in charge of the Egyptian government, has issued an apology after members of the military police beat some protesters in Cairo early Saturday.

The council issued a statement saying the violence was "unintentional," and promised to make sure it does not happen again.

Demonstrators had camped overnight in Cairo's Tahrir (Liberation) Square, demanding that the military move faster to enact change in the government.

Witnesses said the military moved in after a curfew went into effect at midnight.  They said soldiers beat some protesters who refused to move.

Meanwhile, a judicial committee appointed by the interim government has recommended presidential term limits.  The panel on Saturday proposed limiting the presidency to two, four-year terms.  The panel's recommendation is expected to be put to a national referendum.

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was serving his fifth, six-year term when he resigned this month.

On Friday, thousands of demonstrators rallied in Tahrir Square, as they have promised to do each week until their demands are met by the military.

They called on the military to rid the Cabinet of members loyal to ousted president Hosni Mubarak and replace them with fresh faces.  They also want measures to eliminate government corruption, and are demanding political prisoners be freed.

The army is expected to remove a 30-year state of emergency at some point, but has not said when.  For now, it is urging people to abandon their protests and get back to work.

Egyptian officials say they will decide Sunday when to reopen the nation's stock market, which was closed during the anti-government unrest that started in January.

 

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