Last updated: 19 March, 2014

Egypt president orders probe into August carnage

Egypt’s interim president Adly Mansour ordered a judicial inquiry Wednesday into the dispersal of an Islamist protest camp by security forces in August that left hundreds killed.

The day-long clashes as police and soldiers moved in to break up the sprawling Cairo tent city set up by supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi led to the worst peacetime bloodshed in modern Egyptian history.

Mansour was responding to the final report of an official human rights body which on Monday called for an independent inquiry into the bloodshed at the Rabaa al-Adaweya camp, one of two set up in the capital after the army’s overthrow of Morsi last July.

Mansour “sent the report… to the justice minister, requesting that he delegates a judge to investigate”, his office said.

The National Council for Human Rights found that 632 people had been killed in the dispersal of the camp, including eight policemen.

It said the violence erupted after “some armed elements suddenly opened fire” and killed an officer calling on protesters to disperse.

But its findings were challenged by the pro-Morsi Anti-Coup Alliance, which has complained of “falsified claims” in the final report.

More than 1,400 people have been killed in the military-installed government’s crackdown on Morsi’s supporters, according to Amnesty International.

Thousands more, including Morsi and most of the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, have been detained.