Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri expresses sorrow, blames ‘counter-revolution.’ Library fire destroys ‘irreplaceable’ 200-year-old documents.
CAIRO – The Egyptian new government faces a tough test after taking office only 10 days ago, as fresh clashes between protesters and security forces in Cairo continued on Saturday.
Late Saturday, the health ministry said 10 had been killed and 432 others injured in the clashes since Friday.
Among those killed in the escalating violence in central Cairo were two children, ages 12 and 14, and two others died from skull fractures caused by cement blocks, officials said.
Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri expressed at a press conference on Saturday the cabinet’s deep sorrow over the incidents and condemned the acts of setting a research building ablaze by protesters on Saturday morning. The building was established in 1798. Its library has many valuable books and irreplaceable documents. The armed forces managed to extinguish the fire and secure the neighboring building of the People’s Assembly (lower house of parliament). Meanwhile, 213-year-old Egyptian maps and historical manuscripts – described as “irreplaceable” – were destroyed after a library in Cairo was set ablaze during the clashes, officials said.
“The protesters lacked any sense of responsibility regarding the preservation of historical and civilization heritage,” Ganzouri added. In a statement, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) also expressed deep sorrow and resentment over the recent events in downtown Cairo that caused casualties and damage in private and public buildings.
The concerned investigation bodies will take the necessary procedures to determine the reasons behind the clashes and announce the results, the statement added.