Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

25 March 2013

Egypt: Salafi Leader Calls On Citizens to Defend Themselves Under Police Weakness

Former head of "Asala" Salafi Party, Adel Afifi, called on citizens on Monday to defend themselves and their property in the light of what he described as the weakness of police performance on the streets.

The Salafi (ultraconservative Muslim) leader told Aswat Masriya that the Brotherhood's position in the Friday clashes falls under Article 245 of the Penal Code that stipulate self-defence.

The clashes between the Islamist group's members and their opponents have left around 200 persons injured.

"The people must help the police in facing thugs, we cannot leave the whole matter to the police, who are fragile at this point," the Shura Council member said.

Afifi explained that "by virtue of necessity, popular committees should be legalized to help the police do their work in restoring security and stability to the country again."

He refused to describe the people's participation in the maintenance of security as the beginning of a civil war.

"It is unthinkable that we let thugs terrorize the people and stand by idly to these criminal acts," he added.

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