CAIRO – An Egyptian security official said Saturday that the interior ministry has agreed to purchase 100,000 new 9 mm pistols after low-ranking policemen went on strike demanding greater firepower to defend themselves against increased lawlessness.
The announcement ended five days of strikes by thousands of low-ranking policemen that threatened to further unravel security in the Arab world’s most populous nation, two years after the overthrow of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Allegations of torture at the hands of police persist, and around 70 people have been killed in nationwide protests in just the past three weeks. Rights groups allege that police are still operating with impunity.
The security official said the decision was made after studying the demands of policemen who complain they cannot properly defend themselves against attacks on security headquarters and police stations.