Military spokesman Ahmed Mohamed Ali has denied allegations that the army was using live ammunition against civilians in Port Said on Saturday.
He said in a statement on Sunday: “This information is not correct in any form or substance. Members of the Armed Forces do not use live ammunition against demonstrators and no casualties were suffered at the hands of the army.”
He continued saying the army was focused on controlling and securing vital and strategic locations and buildings.
Ali accused independent Al-Watan newspaper and CBC satellite channel of filing the original report of the army using live ammo and advised all media to accurately reflect the situation on the ground in Port Said.
“The Armed Forces affirms the right of peaceful protests and expression of opinion without prejudice to interests of the nation and appeals to the citizens of Port Said and Suez to maintain public property of the state,” he added.
He also included a comment by Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi asking Egyptians to unite as the army exercised its duty of protecting state enterprises.
Egypt’s Second Army was mobilized on Saturday to control spreading violence in Port Said after the city’s Criminal Court announced 21 death penalty verdicts against defendants accused of murder during the Port Said Stadium massacre that occurred in 2012.
Clashes left 32 dead as demonstrators attacked various buildings including a police station, the prison where the defendants were held, and Port Said’s electric company headquarters.
The Third Army was deployed to Suez, as the military attempted to secure various government buildings and the area around the Suez Canal. Suez experienced fatal unrest on Friday during demonstrations marking the Revolution’s second anniversary.