Egypt 'dismayed' by world outcry over protester deaths

CAIRO – The Egyptian Foreign Ministry says it is "dismayed" by regional and international condemnation of the killing on Sunday of protesters marking the fourth anniversary of Egypt's 2011 popular uprising.

"Egypt has followed, with great surprise, statements issued by western countries and regional and international organizations regarding acts of violence that coincided with the fourth anniversary of the revolution," the ministry said on Tuesday.

Twenty-three people were killed and 97 others injured during clashes between security forces and protesters in different parts of Egypt on Sunday.

Sunday marked the passage of four years since the onset of the mass demonstrations that eventually forced longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak to step down in 2011.

Sunday's casualties also included two slain policemen and two injured ones, according to official statements.

Authorities say they arrested 516 "Muslim Brotherhood supporters" taking part in demonstrations and defused several improvised bombs in Cairo and the provinces.

On Saturday, a female leftist activist was killed in central Cairo after security forces attacked a symbolic demonstration to commemorate the hundreds of protesters killed during the 2011 uprising.

"Such statements [i.e., foreign criticism] are completely out of touch with the reality of events, which have included acts of murder and vandalism by supporters of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group who infiltrated peaceful protests," the ministry alleged.

"They also disregard the Interior Ministry's directive to investigate the death of Shaimaa al-Sabbagh and the deadly violence instigated by the Brotherhood," it added.

The ministry also expressed its "deep dissatisfaction" over what it described as the failure of Egypt's critics to "clearly denounce acts of terror, violence and vandalism."

The U.S., U.K. and Turkey, as well as the New York-based Human Rights Watch and the UN's human rights agency, all condemned the violence seen on the uprising's fourth anniversary.

In late 2013, the Egyptian government declared the Muslim Brotherhood – the group from which ousted President Mohamed Morsi hails – a "terrorist organization."

Local authorities accuse the decades-old Islamist group of sponsoring attacks on security personnel and civilians – allegations the group has consistently denied.

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