CAIRO - Egypt's army said on Monday it had intervened on the streets of central Cairo, where 33 people have been killed in clashes over the past three days, to protect the Interior Ministry, not to clear demonstrators from nearby Tahrir Square.
Police and military police charged demonstrators, using tear gas and batons, in the square on Sunday, the second day of violence that has flared in the run-up to the first election since President Hosni Mubarak's overthrow in February.
The staggered parliamentary vote starts on Nov. 28.
"The army did not go to Tahrir but the protesters came to the ministry. The protesters have a right to protest, but we must stand between them and the Interior Ministry," said General Saeed Abbas, assistant to the head of Central Command.