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Egypt

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Al-Masry Al-Youm has obtained official Interior Ministry documents classified as "top secret and not for publication."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

"Collateral Benefit": Could Putin's Launching A Failed War Make The World Better?

Consider the inverse of "collateral damage." Envision Russia's defeat and the triumph of a democratic coalition offers reflection on the most weighty sense of costs and benefits.

Photo of a doll representing Russian President Vladimir Putin

Demonstrators holding a doll with a picture of Russian President Putin

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — The concept of collateral damage has developed in the course of so-called "asymmetrical” wars, fought between opponents considered unequal.

The U.S. drone which targeted rebel fighters in Afghanistan, and annihilated an entire family gathered for a wedding, appears to be the perfect example of collateral damage: a doubtful military gain, and a certain political cost. One might also consider the American bombing of Normandy towns around June 6, 1944 as collateral damage.

But is it possible to reverse the expression, and speak of "collateral benefits"? When applied to an armed conflict, the expression may seem shocking.

No one benefits from a war, which leaves in its trace a trail of dead, wounded and displaced people, destroyed cities or children brutally torn from their parents.

And yet the notion of "collateral benefits" is particularly applicable to the war that has been raging in Ukraine for almost a year.

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