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Hundreds of Egyptian cops stage rare demonstrations

CAIRO: Hundreds of low-ranking policemen in Egypt are holding protests to demand they not be used as a tool for political oppression in the country’s ongoing turmoil.
Dozens of policemen rallied yesterday outside local security administration headquarters in at least 10 provinces. Some of them carried signs reading, “we are innocent of the blood of the martyrs.”
Although small, the protests marked a rare instance of dissent by Egypt’s police force. The rallies reflect fears among many policemen of a public backlash after weeks of violent crackdowns on anti-government protests.
Rights activists allege that police have used excessive force against the latest wave of protests that started on the eve of the second anniversary of the 2011 Egyptian 2011 uprising.
In a separate development, dozens of masked men carrying wooden sticks and knives smashed the glass front of a luxury hotel in Cairo yesterday before fleeing, a security official said.
The scene caused panic in the Shepheard Hotel, close to Tahrir Square, and on the nearby Nile corniche where traffic was briefly disrupted.

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