Egyptian interior minister fires hundreds of police officers

09:35, July 14, 2011      

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Egyptian Interior Minister Mansour el-Essawi announced the biggest reshuffle ever in the police forces on Wednesday, which included the dismissal of more than 600 police officers, the state TV reported.

The move announced by Essawi was viewed as an attempt to cool down the angry protestors who continued the open-ended sit-in in downtown Cairo's Tahrir Square since July 8 and vowed not to leave until their key demands were met.

Addressing a news conference, Essawi said hundreds of high- ranking police officers, including 505 major generals and another 164 officers, would be fired for their roles in cracking down on protesters during the anti-government demonstrations in January and February.

Essawi said the shake-up would be put into force as of August 1, adding that it would be the largest in the history of his ministry.

The interior minister said he had ordered an investigation into the killings of more than 800 protesters during the 18-day revolt that led to the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak on February 11.

The demands of protesters sitting in the square include speedy and public trials of former regime officials and purging the police forces of those deemed still loyal to Mubarak.

On the other hand, some other officials, including 10 minister assistants and eight security managers, were promoted.

Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf vowed on Monday a radical cabinet reshuffle within one week in response to the people's demands amid continued protests for more reforms.

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