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Egypt's military denies any responsibility in deaths of 17 Christians

The Egyptian military said today that they are investigating who killed 17 Christian protesters on Sunday. Their denial of guilt has angered many Egyptians, who complain of a new dictatorship.

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Mourners carry the coffins of victims of clashes between protesters and security forces in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Oct. 10.

AP

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Egypt’s Army has denied shooting or running over mostly Christian protesters at a demonstration Sunday, laying the blame on protesters for the violence that killed as many as two dozen people.

The account laid out today by two generals on the military council currently ruling Egypt sharply contradicts the eyewitness accounts and videos that show Army soldiers driving vehicles into an unarmed crowd, crushing and killing people, and shooting at the demonstrators. The military’s refusal to be held accountable for its actions inflamed anger and heightened fear among many Egyptians that the military council has replaced one dictatorship with another.

“How is this different than Mubarak?” asked Peter, a Christian who was present during the crackdown. “They kill us, and lie and say we attacked them. This is not democracy. This is not freedom. There is no justice.”

The generals said it was not the armed forces who killed the protesters, and they were still investigating who did.

“Who killed them? That’s a question we’re still trying to answer,” Gen. Mahmoud Hegazy said at a press conference. Gen. Adel Emara said that soldiers could not have shot protesters, because they did not have live ammunition, and if they had, “the results would have been catastrophic.”

The generals accused armed and violent Christian protesters of attacking soldiers, and showed video clips that they said support their claim. Showing one clip of an Army armored vehicle careening through a crowd, Gen. Emara said the driver was trying to avoid hitting protesters, and said the driver was suffering from a state of panic after being attacked.

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