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Monday, May 16, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Egypt, lacking Mubarak police, turns to Army
to restore order

CAIRO — Egypt plans to use the Army to battle a crime wave and restore control in wake of the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.


Officials said the new military regime has agreed to transfer tens of thousands of soldiers to bolster security throughout Egypt. They said the soldiers, directed by the Interior Ministry, would seek to fill the gap left by the absence of police officers after the fall of the Mubarak regime.

"This will help offset the prevailing security shortage," Interior Minister Mansour Essawy said.

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Essawy said the Interior Ministry was assigned 290,000 soldiers for security missions. But he said the military regime, called the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, agreed to only 50,000 troops, Middle East Newsline reported.

The minister said the 50,000 soldiers would be deployed in troubled areas of Egypt. He acknowledged that his ministry has failed to fill the ranks of police after Mubarak's ouster.

The military regime has also agreed to transfer assets to bolster security. Essawy said police have already received 200 patrol vehicles.

"We aim to bring order back to the streets," Essawy said on May 12.

Officials said the soldiers would also help halt rising violence between Christians and Muslims, particularly in Alexandria and Cairo. They said, however, that authorities required the cooperation from civilians to help restore order.

"Egypt is facing three major hurdles — sectarian strife, attempts to drive a wedge between the Army and the people as well as the economic crisis," Maj. Gen. Ismail Osman, a security spokesman said.

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