Egypt PM apologises for Tahrir clashes

2011-02-03 17:31
A pro-government supporter is restrained by a soldier just outside Cairo's main square. (Sebastian Scheiner, AP)

A pro-government supporter is restrained by a soldier just outside Cairo's main square. (Sebastian Scheiner, AP) (Sebastian Scheiner)

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Cairo - New Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq on Thursday apologised for deadly unrest between supporters and foes of President Hosni Mubarak on Cairo's Tahrir Square, state television reported.

"I offer all my apologies for what happened yesterday and there will be an enquiry," Shafiq told state television as the fighting on Tahrir Square raged for a second day with at least seven people dead.

Shafiq, who became premier after Mubarak sacked the government in a bid to quell the protests, said earlier that the deadly unrest would be investigated, amid allegations that plain clothes police were involved.

The army stood by as Mubarak supporters attacked their anti-regime opponents, using guns, petrol bombs, sticks and rocks.

Shafiq later told journalists that he was unsure whether the attacks had been organised.

"I don't know if it was organised or spontaneous," he said during a televised news conference.

"There were clashes. And clashes between youths are always more heated. It seems they were carrying some weapons."

"Egyptian hearts are bleeding," he said. "It was a bloody night, with much damage."

Read more on:    hosni mubarak  |  ahmed shafiq  |  egypt  |  north africa
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