Angry Protesters Storm Egypt's State Security

They ignore warning shots from military
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2011 4:49 PM CST
Egyptian soldiers atop an armored vehicle stand at the entrance of the state security headquarters as protesters storm the building in Cairo's northern Nasr City neighborhood, Egypt, March 5, 2011.    (AP Photo/Ahmed Ali)
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(Newser) – Hundreds of Egyptian activists yesterday stormed the headquarters of the notorious State Security, long associated with human rights abuses against political prisoners, expressing frustration that the military has been slow to shut it down. The dismantling of the intelligence force was one of the protesters’ key demands, but it has yet to be dissolved; those who entered its offices yesterday seized files looking to document cases of prisoner abuse and disappearances. Military police fired shots into the air as Egyptians chanting “Down with State Security!” ignored them and ran into the building.

"I saw people's nails being ripped out and people hung from the ceiling by their arms or legs," one former prisoner recounts to McClatchy Newspapers. "They would throw our food in sand before giving it to us and splash us with cold water day and night. Sometimes it was so dark you couldn't see your hands." Some activists at the scene confronted army commanders, asking why the military did not apprehend State Security agents who left the building before the protesters arrived.

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