Egypt investigates fire at Alexandria state security buildings


Egypt said on Saturday it will investigate two incidents where fire broke out at state security buildings, amid calls by pro-democracy protesters to dissolve the service.

Three tanks and a military police vehicle surrounded the building of the State Security Investigations Service, south-western Cairo, after they received a call from the people that fire broke inside the building, witnesses told the German Press Agency dpa.

The military put out the fire and summoned representatives from the attorney general to inspect the site and investigate the incident.

Hundreds of protesters gathered around the building, located in Sheikh Zayed neighbourhood, after they saw black smoke coming out of the building.

Protesters believe security officers were trying to destroy possibly self-incriminating evidence by burning the documents.

Activists have been calling on the military, running the country after president Hosny Mubarak’s ouster, to suspend the controversial service, blamed for the violence against protesters that left more than 350 people dead in the popular uprising.

The Interior Ministry is studying a plan to restructure the security body, official media reported, citing a high ranking security official.

The fire in Cairo comes after a similar protest took place at the headquarters of the service in the northern coastal city of Alexandria.

Clashes erupted when officers fired shots in the air to disperse protesters late on Friday.

Videos posted on the internet showed Molotov cocktails being thrown from the building, and several cars parked nearby destroyed.

When protesters managed to enter the building they found documents cut and shredded inside the offices, fueling suspicions that the security officers were trying to destroy incriminating evidence. DPA



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