The Straits Times
Published on Dec 08, 2012

Egypt's Mursi to authorise army to take on security role


CAIRO (REUTERS) - Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi, facing street protests over his attempts to push through a new constitution, will soon authorise the armed forces to help police keep order, the state-run newspaper al-Ahram reported on Saturday.

The daily said the cabinet had approved a legal measure under which the armed forces would help "maintain security and protect vital state institutions" and would be given powers of arrest, but did not say when it would be issued.

The opposition was still staging protests around Mr Mursi's official palace, where clashes with his Islamist supporters killed seven people and wounded 350 earlier this week.

Egypt's military was the power behind all previous presidents and an army council temporarily took over after a popular revolt toppled Hosni Mubarak last year.