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.
Begum Khaled Zia failed to appear to face graft charges in court
Israels refusal to hand over $100 million in tax revenue from Palestinians has caused severe difficulties in Palestine, who is already struggling from Israeli bullying.
U.S. Army Europe Commanding General Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges says Washington was keen to see a ceasefire deal signed in Minsk between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists get implemented and expresses doubts over fragile ceasefire.
After a spate of negative press on Canadian Muslims, the Choudry family have devised a unique way to tackle Islamophobia.
Palestinian movement Hamas sharply blames such implications and remarks after the decision of Egyptian court that Egypt would arrest any Hamas members found on its soil.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Tuesday the original briefing was inaccurate and that military officials should not discuss war plans in any case.
Libya has not had government since ousting of Gaddafi, with the North African state in chaos
Previous "gas wars" have led to supply disruptions to Europe, which gets around a third of its gas from Russia, and 40 percent of this via Ukraine.
More than 350 Israeli troops had been receiving treatment for full psychological trauma after last year launched a weeks-long onslaught on the Gaza Strip.
The Arab League does not take positions after an Egyptian local court designated Hamas a "terrorist organization"
The fugitive and former NSA contractor Edward J. Snowden seeks to come to U.S, after nearly two years in exile in Russia, according to his Russian lawyer
IAEA) representatives will meet Iranian officials in Tehran on March 9
Egyptian authorities decided to arrest any members of Hamas movement although Hamas denied accusations.
Iraqi troops, backed by Shiite groups, have launched a ground offensive against ISIL on Monday to recapture Tikrit city. Tikrit, a Sunni-majority city, was the homeland of the deceased Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
Family of U.S slain Muslim says they are impressed due to Turkey's reactions to this case and Syrian refugees
Israel demolished makeshift homes for the fourth time on the grounds that economic and security buffer zone for Jewish settlements