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Exclusive: Probe Reveals Interior Ministry Ordered Snipers To Kill Tahrir Protesters

An Al-Masry Al-Youm investigation cites secret documents outlining specific orders for sniper units to fire on protesters, despite denials by current Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy, who has repeatedly denied that the Interior Ministry had sniper unit

Tahrir square, June 2, 2012 (glichfield)
A bullet found in Tahrir Square
Ahmed Ragab and Mostafa ElMarsfawi

CAIRO - The Interior Ministry used snipers to kill demonstrators during the January 25 revolution, an Al-Masry Al-Youm investigation has revealed.

This revelation contradicts current Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy, who has repeatedly denied that the Interior Ministry ever had sniper units within its security forces.

Al-Masry Al-Youm has obtained official Interior Ministry documents classified as "top secret and not for publication."

The documents contain the names of sniper teams that were paid by the Interior Ministry, which at the time was run by Habib al-Adly. They also disclose the different government locations at which these units received their training.

Retired General Mohamed Nasser, one of the founders of the Interior Ministry's international terrorism department, stressed the existence of "sniper elements' in the department.

Interior Ministry snipers usually use 800-meter-range rifles, Nasser said, adding that their bullets penetrate the body swiftly, accurately, and deeply. He also said that the units use many different types of rifles.

The fact-finding committee set up by the Egyptian government to investigate the killing of protesters in Tahrir Square during the revolution found that "the police fired live ammunition while hunting protesters from the roofs of the buildings overlooking Tahrir Square."

Al-Masry Al-Youm also obtained a document dated February 1 from the Interior Ministry's operations room containing an order for two snipers to begin an operation.

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Photo - RamyRaoof

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Wagner Group 2.0: Why Russia's Mercenary System Is Here To Stay

Many had predicted that the death last month of Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin meant the demise of the mercenary outfit. Yet signs in recent days say the private military outfit is active again in Ukraine, a reminder of the Kremlin's interest in continuing a private fighting formula that has worked all around the world.

Photograph of a Wagner soldier in the city of Artyomovsk, holding a rifle.

Ukraine, Donetsk Region - March 24, 2023: A Wagner Group soldier guards an area in the city of Artyomovsk (Bakhmut).

Cameron Manley


“Let’s not forget that there is no Wagner Group anymore,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had declared. “Such an organization, in our eyes, does not exist.”

The August 25 statement from came less than two days after the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the infamous Russian mercenary outfit, as questions swirled about Wagner's fate after its crucial role in the war in Ukraine and other Russian military missions around the world.

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How could an independent military outfit survive after its charismatic founder's death? It seemed highly unlikely that President Vladimir Putin would allow the survival of a group after had launched a short-lived coup attempt in late June that most outside observers believe led to Prigozhin's private airplane being shot down by Russian forces on August 23.

"Wagner is over,” said the Kremlin critic and Russian political commentator Maksim Katz. “The group can’t keep going. There’s the possibility that they could continue in parts or with Defense Ministry contracts, but the group only worked with an unofficial agreement between Putin and Prigozhin.”

Yet barely a month later, and there are already multiple signs that the Wagner phoenix is rising from the ashes.

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