Last Updated: Sat Mar 05, 2011 20:39 pm (KSA) 17:39 pm (GMT)

Egyptians storm state security building

Protesters torch police vehicles outside the state security headquarters in Alexandria
Protesters torch police vehicles outside the state security headquarters in Alexandria

Hundreds of protesters stormed an Egyptian state security building in a Cairo suburb on Saturday Al Arabiya TV reported, amid calls to abolish the apparatus long accused by rights groups of abuse.

State security employees in the Sheikh Zayed headquarters briefly fired gunshots as hundreds of protesters tried to enter the building to retrieve documents for evidence of misconduct.

 We could see police inside the building burning the papers 
Witness

"We could see police inside the building burning the papers," said one witness.

"The windows were open and loads of papers were flying out of the windows," another told AFP by telephone.

The army, which has been maintaining security since police disappeared from the streets in anti-government protests last month, blocked protesters from getting inside the building.

It was the second such incident in as many days, after hundreds of protesters stormed the state security headquarters in the port city of Alexandria on Friday, hurling Molotov cocktails and burning police cars.

Security officials fired gunshots from the building but eventually troops intervened.

On Friday, Egypt's newly appointed Prime Minister Essam Sharaf vowed to reform the dreaded security apparatus as he addressed thousands of people in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Earlier on Saturday, former interior minister Habib al-Adly, who oversaw the state security, faced trial for corruption.

He is also being investigated for ordering the shooting of protesters during anti-government riots that erupted on January 25 and toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

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