Egypt gives police more guns to defend themselves against "lawlessness"
Egyptian anti-government protestors take cover behind burning dust bins during clashes with riot police. (AFP PHOTO / STR)
The Egyptian interior ministry is purchasing 100,000 new guns for their lower ranking police officers in order to help them 'defend themselves', an Egyptian security official told AP on Saturday.
The order of the new 9mm pistols follows five days of strikes by police and a rare protest on Tuesday, when officers demanded that the government stop using them as a tool of political oppression.
Retired police colonel, Ihab Youssef, told AP that the new order of guns would mean lower ranking policemen would be able to carry weapons on or off-duty:
"This will cause a lot of problems because they are not well trained and do not know how to use this weapon," Youssef said. "In the worst case scenario, police will end up turning into thugs after working hours."
The current cycle of unrest in Egypt began on the second anniversary of the revolution this year. Mass protests have spread across the country as people repeatedly called for the downfall of new president, Mohamed Morsi.
Demonstrators have regularly clashed with police, leading to injuries on both sides with protestors arrested and allegedly subjected to tortured while under detention.