Last updated: 11 May, 2012

Egypt ends curfew around defence ministry

Egypt’s military rulers lifted on Friday a curfew around the defence ministry in Cairo that was imposed after deadly clashes ahead of this month’s presidential election, state news agency MENA reported.

“It was decided today to end tonight the curfew in the Abbassiya district and around the defence ministry,” the agency said, quoting a military source.

The curfew from 11:00 pm until 6:00 am (2300-0400 GMT) was imposed on May 4 after at least 11 people were killed in clashes around Abbassiya, where the ministry is located.

The military arrested hundreds of people following the clashes.

Tensions have been running high ahead of the May 23-24 election, with many suspecting the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took charge after president Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year, will keep its grip on power.

But the SCAF has vowed to hand power to civilian rule when a president is elected and denied it is backing any candidate in the election.