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Army Fires on Mutinous Egypt Troops

February 27, 1986|Associated Press

CAIRO — Army troops called out to suppress a mutiny by paramilitary forces today opened fire with machine guns, tank cannon and automatic rifles on a rebel camp beneath the Great Pyramids, witnesses said, as the death toll in the mutiny rose to 36.

The Central Security Force uprising began Tuesday night after rumors spread that the term of involuntary service of the conscripts would be extended from three to four years. Instead, it was cut by one month.

Despite today's clash, President Hosni Mubarak's chief political adviser, Osama Baz, said security had been restored after the most serious domestic unrest of Mubarak's four-year tenure.

Baz told reporters 36 people were killed and 321 injured in the mutiny and riots that followed.

32 of Security Force Dead

He said the dead were 32 members of the security forces, two army soldiers and two civilians. He said 273 of the wounded were members of the paramilitary security forces, 12 were soldiers and 36 were civilians.

The shooting today broke out around the pyramids at about noon, according to witnesses. A news photographer who reached the area an hour later said the shooting had stopped but army officers were nervous and ordered reporters to leave.

A curfew ordered Wednesday to control the disturbances was suspended for three hours today to allow Cairo's 12 million people to buy food and essential supplies. Food shops throughout the capital were jammed and long lines formed at gasoline stations.

The city was reported generally quiet, but residents of at least three neighborhoods reported hearing sporadic shooting during the night.

The rioters Wednesday burned three luxury hotels and several nightclubs near the Great Pyramids, attacked cars and police stations, and stormed a major prison.

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