Ex-Egyptian minister goes on trial for mass shootings

Habib Al-Adly_AFP.jpg.crop_display.jpg

Former Egyptian interior minister Habib al-Adly appeared before a criminal court on Tuesday on charges of ordering the shooting of civilians during opposition protests in January, the local MENA news agency said.

Adly has been charged along with his six former aides, MENA said.

The seven are accused of underestimating the scale of protests and failing to coordinate security forces' efforts aimed at preventing violence, which resulted in anarchy and bloodshed.

Official Egyptian statistics show that more than 840 people were killed and several thousand wounded during the 18 days of unrest that forced President Hosni Mubarak to step down and hand over his powers to a transitional military council.

The violent unrest saw several hundred police cars set on fire, arms depots robbed and museums looted, and thousands of inmates escaping from prisons.

The ousted Egyptian leader also faces charges of authorising the shooting of protesters during the uprising, as well as of corruption and abuse of power.

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