According to Rana Khazbak of Al Masry Al Youm, members of the SCAF denied at a press conference today that soldiers used weapons or force during the Maspero clashes. SCAF general Emara claims that only tear gas was used. Major General Mahmoud Hegazy claims that soldiers were killed with bullets and gunshots, but the SCAF has not announced the names or numbers of military casualties.
Al Jazeera reports that the SCAF states the clashes were the result of "some to destroy the pillars of the state and sow chaos." I find Al Jazeera's reporting on this uncharacteristically weak. They do not mention that protesters were run over by tanks, or fired on by the military. They write that
"the Copts say they were marching peacefully when thugs attacked them, drawing in the military police who used what activists described as unnecessary force."
Why is this usually reliable news source soft pedaling this crucial story?
Hazem El-Beblawi, the deputy prime minister and finance minister tendered his resignation over the clashes. In another instance of collective insanity, the SCAF has rejected his resignation. Beblawi has told Reuters that he has not withdrawn his resignation, and he still wishes to resign.
The military's refusal to accept El-Beblawi's resignation, and their denial that the army used force are both symptoms of a type of collective insanity gripping the nation. The events were widely captured on film. Yet the Egyptian Army is claiming that the armored vehicle drove into a crowd when protesters set it on fire. Yet, this did not, in fact, occur.
Human rights lawyer Khaled Ali has brought in forensic doctors to the Coptic Hospital. Their reports show that the dead were killed by live ammunition or by being crushed by army vehicles. Amnesty International pins blame for the carnage on the military.