World Bulletin / News Desk
The National Council for Human Rights, Egypt's state-run rights watchdog, announced the results on Wednesday of its long-awaited report on last August's bloody dispersal of a main protest camp in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
According to Nasser Amin, a council member who announced the council's findings, protesters had initiated the aggression against security forces shortly after the latter besieged Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya Square and announced through loudspeakers that protesters could leave through certain "secure corridors."
Speaking at a press conference in Cairo Wednesday afternoon, Amin said that the day-long operation had left 632 dead, mostly civilians caught in the crossfire between armed elements "planted among peaceful protesters" in the square and security forces.
He added that eight policemen had been among the casualties and denied that military forces had taken part in the dispersal, maintaining that they had only secured the "surrounding area."
According to Amin, clashes erupted shortly after security forces began asking protesters to leave through designated safe corridors, between 6am and 7am.
However, "fierce clashes" soon erupted after a police officer was shot and four soldiers injured by gunfire that emanated from inside the sit-in, Amin claimed.
Amin showed a simulation of the operation's timeline, during which he asserted that the heaviest clashes had taken place before a 1pm truce when safe passages were reopened to protesters wishing to leave.
"Security forces maintained proportionate use of arms against those used by armed elements [inside the square]," Amin announced.
"However," he added, "they [security forces] failed to maintain a portion of its restraint with regards to the intensity of firing."
Amin went on to say that ambulances could not enter the square until the operation wound down at around 6pm, due to heavy violence earlier as security forces were met with "armed resistance" from inside the square.
During the press conference, Amin showed footage he said was taken by residents of the surrounding buildings and which were broadcast for the first time. The videos featured unidentified gunmen firing and ducking between buildings and cars, which Nasser said was evidence that the sit-in included armed elements.
While the report maintained that clashes erupted only after security forces were attacked, Amin said that security forces had failed to secure the safe passages they said they had provided to peaceful protesters and that security forces had left only 25 minutes for protesters wishing to leave, which the council found insufficient.
The report went on to call for an independent investigation into the incident and condemn "incitement campaigns" against protesters by pro-government media in the run-up to the dispersal.
The dispersal came a few weeks after Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, was removed by the army following demonstrations against his one year in office. The Egyptian government then launched a sweeping, sustained crackdown on his supporters, of which the Rabaa dispersal is seen as a turning point.
Last month, the United States added four names to the so-called Magnitsky list - a list that is meant to punish Russian human rights violators by barring their entry to the United States and freezing their assets there.
As part of a global push to combat terrorism, airlines in the USA will now keep a register and record passenger information of those who request halal meals and EU will now ban certain facebook, twitter, and google from displaying results in order to curb radicalization.
22 killed, 50 injured in explosion at Shia mosque in southern Pakistan
The tenders are for residential units in Jerusalem as well as units in southern Jerusalem.
Commissioner Turner told AA they will have Kenyan forces flown to Britain to be trained
Security forces have foiled an attack of the ISIL terrorist group on the Qasr Hotel in Iraq's Kirkuk province.
The State Department says the US remains steadfast in its support of the Egyptian government’s efforts to combat terrorism in Egypt.
European Union extends sanctions against Moscow by six months following renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Police arrested 15 people who planned to attack vital sites in the southern and eastern parts of Tunisia
Yemen's presidential aide who was released by Yemeni houthi rebels two days ago has left for Saudi Arabia
Japanese Muslims have gathered at the Friday prayers in Tokyo, praying for the release of Japanese ISIL hostage Kenji Goto
38,000 children are severely malnourished and need life-saving medical treatment and therapeutic food.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has met European Parliament President Martin Schulz for the first time since he won the elections in Greece.
Nearly 400,000 children had their education disrupted ias a direct result of the ongoing crisis.
- Aid package to be split between needs inside Syria and refugees in neighboring countries.
Regime warplanes attack livestock bazaar in Aleppo using "vacuum bombs."