The latest unrest in Cairo is a systemized plan to strike at the nation’s security,” the Egyptian Supreme Council for Armed Forces (SCAF) said on Monday.
The Egyptian military, which took power when Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February, has been criticized for its the use of excessive force against protesters. The country has been marred by violence that has left as many as 11 dead and hundreds injured over the past three days.
“Using violence against protesters is a fake allegation circulated by mass media,” the General Adel Emara, a member of SCAF said at a press conference.
“If rioters target the buildings housing the People’s Assembly, the Interior Ministry and the Cabinet offices, then it is clear that they know what they are doing and that they follow a specific agenda,” he said.
Emara interrupted the live news conference to say that he had “received a call now to say that a plot was uncovered today to burn parliament and there are now large crowds in Tahrir Square ready to implement the plan.”
An AFP reporter in Tahrir Square said several hundred protesters were in the square attending an orderly funeral for one of the protesters killed in clashes.
On the outskirts of Tahrir, where a historic building containing national archives was destroyed in the clashes, protesters were trying to save any surviving documents, the reporter said.
Emara’s statement comes as one more person was killed in dawn clashes between protesters and security forces, taking the death toll from four days of fighting to 11.
The violence overshadowed the count in the first post-revolution vote that shows Islamists in the lead, and prompted calls for restraint from the United Nations and the United States.