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Egypt

Egyptians call for interior minister’s resignation

Egypt's opposition has called on the interior minister to resign after a video showed security beating a naked man at a protest. Thousands have clashed with security as Egypt's political violence enters its ninth day.

Footage of the beating was broadcast live during Friday's protests against Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. It has since gone viral, triggering condemnation on social media.

Further clashes erupt in Cairo

"The horrible and degrading images showing the central security officers and police beating and dragging a naked man near the presidential palace should lead to the interior minister's immediate resignation," said Khaled Dawoud, a spokesman for the main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front (NSF). He added that this "cannot be resolved by a simple apology from the minister."

In the video, riot police use truncheons to beat the middle-aged man before dragging him onto an armored vehicle in front of the presidential palace. Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim has ordered an investigation to "hold accountable" the policemen who beat the naked protester, his office said.

"This behavior has no justification," said Ayman Nour, who heads the opposition group Revolution Tomorrow.

Strategy session

The NSF was to meet later on Saturday to review its strategy after Friday's clashes between security forces and petrol-bomb throwing protesters killed one man and injured more than 50, according to Health Ministry figures. The death raises to nearly 60 the toll from violent protests that erupted across Egypt more than a week ago on the second anniversary of the anti-Mubarak revolt. Friday's lone death was a 23-year-old man shot in the chest and forehead, according to the Health Ministry.

The group had called for a show of opposition to Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood after deadly unrest swept Egypt last week, the worst violence since the president was elected in June. Hours before Friday's violence, NSF leader and Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei had suggested that unrest would persist if Morsi continued to sideline his opponents.

The protests come a day after talks between rival political factions. The largest crowds marched through the Suez Canal city of Port Said chanting, "Leave, leave, Morsi," with thousands also rallying in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Earlier, Morsi had said that security forces would use "the utmost decisiveness to enforce the law and protect state institutions" and blamed the opposition for sparking the violence.

mkg/pfd (AFP, Reuters, dpa, AP)

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