In a press conference on Saturday, the Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim gave his account of Friday’s clashes. He denied the ministry’s affiliation with one political faction at the expense of another.
The press conference was held at the Ministry of Interior’s headquarters on Saturday. Detailing his account of the events which climaxed into violent clashes between the protesters and the security forces outside the presidential palace, Ibrahim stated that the marches to the palace were initially peaceful. By 5:30 pm, Ibrahim claimed some protesters had engaged in skirmishes with security personnel.
“We thus had the republican guard conscripts securing the palace enter it to avoid clashes with any protesters,” Ibrahim said. He added that a group of 300 protestors attacked the palace, which he described as a “symbol of the state”, with Molotov Cocktails and fireworks.
The security forces used water hoses to disperse the protesters at first. When this measure proved a failure, Central Security Forces resorted to the use of teargas.
Ibrahim claimed the ‘rioters’ attacking the presidential palace fired birdshot and marble shots at the security forces, adding that 15 police officers and conscripts were injured. Police forces managed to arrest 11 ‘rioters’, Ibrahim said.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Ahmed Omar told state-owned news agency MENA that 78 people were injured during the presidential palace clashes. One protester, Mohamed Qorany, was killed by two bullets in the chest and abdomen.
Al-Nadim Centre for Rehabilitation of Violence and Torture Victims and the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) stated that 13 detainees were referred to investigation at Heliopolis Court. All were arrested during the presidential palace clashes.
MENA reported that Ibrahim said “The police are a national security apparatus and a property of the people”. “If the police apparatus collapses, Egypt would become a state of militias,” Ibrahim added.