Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

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EGYPT: Police to return to patrols Monday

January 30, 2011 | 10:39 am

Egypt's police, who withdrew after government officials called in the army Friday to restore order amid widespread anti-government protests, will return to the streets on Monday, security sources told Reuters.

One of the sources said police would return to do traffic, criminal and other work but would not be sent in to confront protesters, whom they often clashed with in the first days of the protests.

Truckloads of hundreds of police poured back into Cairo neighborhoods Sunday afternoon and took up positions on the streets, the Associated Press reported.

In some areas, they were jeered by residents who chanted anti-police slogans and demanded that they only be allowed to deploy jointly with the military.

In one part of Tahrir Square, soldiers working with civilian protester volunteers were even checking IDs and the bags of people arriving at the square, saying they were searching for weapons and making sure plainclothes police did not enter the square.

“The army is protecting us, they won't let police infiltrators sneak in!” one volunteer shouted.


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Unrest in Egypt creating gas shortage in neighboring Arab enclave

Al Jazeera officials vow to continue despite shutdown of Cairo bureau

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske