By Heba Fahmy
CAIRO: “The army is allowed to shoot anyone who breaks the curfew according to the law,” a police sergeant who preferred to remain anonymous told Daily News Egypt.
“The army’s duty is to protect vital institutions, not protect the people,” he added.
He said that police forces are supposed to protect the people even after the army enters the city.
A security official said on Al-Arabiya news channel that the police forces fled the streets because the people didn’t want them there.
The Egyptian army issued a statement on Saturday saying that anyone who breaks the curfew will be dealt with aggressively.
However, thousands of protestors broke the curfew on Saturday calling for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak and many spent the night in Tahrir square.
There have been additional reports of people breaking the curfew around Cairo without being intercepted by the army.
“There’s no curfew over the Egyptian people now because we have to roam the streets to protect our families and the army understands that,” engineer Islam Al-Kaseer told Daily News Egypt.
“The thugs are the ones under curfew,” Al-Kaseer added
“I was walking around an hour after curfew and no-one did anything to me,” graphic designer Mohammed Alaa Eldin told Daily News Egypt. “There were a few people in the street as well, not as many as usual though.”
“I was even shaking hands with the soldiers and greeting them,” he said.
The Egyptian army enforced a curfew on Friday from 6 pm to 7 am, following mass protests. On Saturday the curfew was extended from 4 pm to 8 am in Cairo, Suez and Alexandria.
Only journalists, doctors and firefighters are allowed to break the curfew.