Tensions have mounted in Sharqiya as striking police officers stormed and besieged the governorate’s Security Directorate, two days after the officers commenced their strike.
The police officers, who are disgruntled with continued delay in the payment of their salaries and who are demanding better pensions, stormed the Security Directorate a day after the Ministry of Interior spokesperson Abu Bakr Abdel-Kareem said that the Muslim Brotherhood had fueled the strike.
In statements, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior said that the police officers’ strike, which has resulted in six police stations shutting down, is unacceptable and consists of Muslim Brotherhood elements.
The accusations angered the striking police officers, who clashed with riot police outside the Security Directorate after demanding the resignation of Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar. Riot police fired tear gas and warning shots before the striking officers were able to besiege the Security Directorate.
According to Youm7, several officers working in the Security Directorate joined the strike following the accusations, stating that Sharqiya’s police had been the victims of terrorism, with 16 police martyrs within one year. The National Council for Human Rights reports that 700 security personnel were killed between June 2013 and December 2014.
Negotiations are continuing between the striking policemen and the military which is mediating between the protesters and the local security directorate.