Egyptian military apologizes for attacking women

Updated: 2011-12-21 09:02

(Xinhua)

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CAIRO - The Egyptian Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) expressed "great regret" for reported attacks on protesting women by the country's soldiers in recent clashes, and promised to punish the assailants.

The army was criticized after some websites and TV channels showed footage of soldiers dragging women by the hair, beating them and stripping one half-naked on the street, during recent clashes in downtown Cairo.

In the SCAF's statement, it reaffirmed respect and appreciation for Egyptian women and their right to protest, and their active participation in the political life on the road to democratic transition.

"It promised it was taking legal measures to punish those responsible for violations," the statement added.

Different classes of the society, men and women marched in Tahrir Square, the epicenter for the massive demonstrations that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, carrying pictures of the soldiers attacking a female and stamping on her breast, Nile TV reported Tuesday.

The clashes that started Friday between the security forces and protestors have left at least 12 dead and more than 800 injured.

It asserted the importance to complete the democratic process and finish the third phase of the parliamentary elections.

The SCAF said it is ready to discuss any initiative from the political movements that could participate in stability and security of Egypt.

SCAF head Hussein Tantawi Tuesday asserted at a meeting with members of the Advisory Council the importance to end all forms of violence, adding "We are committed to protect the public facilities and institutions".

Tantawi said that the armed forces were responsible for renovating the Egyptian Scientific Building, which was set ablaze on Saturday during the protests. The institute was established in 1798 and stored about 200,000 books.