Egypt fires hundreds of police as protests grows

Egyptian Protester

CAIRO (AP) - Egypt's security chief fired nearly 700 police officers Wednesday in a step to cleanse the much-hated force, the latest concession military rulers have made under pressure from protesters holding a sit-in in Cairo's Tahrir Square for the past six days.

Widespread abuses by the police under the former regime were a key reason behind the protests that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February. But the ruling military council that took over from him has been slow to hold ex-regime officials and police accountable for killing nearly 900 protesters during the uprising and other crimes.

With public frustration rising sharply, protesters resumed a sit-in in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the revolution that was occupied day and night for most of the 18-day uprising. Protesters say the dismissal of 669 police officers was not extensive enough.

"These are just sedatives. We won't be fooled," said Walid Saoud, a 34-year old protester at Tahrir. He said the sit-in will go on because the protesters want to see a total restructuring of the police force, the main tool of political control under the previous regime.

Some are even accusing the ruling military council of trying to protect Mubarak and his former regime loyalists.

In another nod to demands by activists, the military is delaying parliamentary elections that had been expected in September, the state news agency said. The vote is now expected in October or November, the report said. Read more Here