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Egypt: Police strike ends, Islamist faction encourages citizens' arrest

Police in Cairo and Giza have ended their strikes, as a statement from an Islamist faction encouraging citizen arrests prompts an uproar.

egypt explosion suez canalEnlarge
Egyptian soldiers stand guard in front a prison in the Suez Canal city of Port Said following the court verdict over the deadly football riot of 2012, in the Suez Canal city of Port Said on March 9, 2013. At least 30 police were injured and one killed by a car bomb in Ismailia on Dec 12. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

CAIRO, Egypt — Riot police have ended their strikes in the cities of Cairo and Giza, according to a strike organizer who said police superiors were given 10 days to respond to demands.

Police were back at work near Tahrir Square after more than a week of protests against what the strikers claim is the politicization of the force and growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.

More on GlobalPost: Egyptian police strikes spread

Security forces had called for the dismissal of Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, saying he was influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood. He reportedly met with top Central Security Forces officials and recruits on Monday.

"The Minister said he appreciates the views of the policemen, adding that these views stem from national duty and from their rejection of seeing the police involved in political conflicts," Daily News Egypt reported.

Earlier this week, the Egypt Independent reported Ibrahim as saying, "There are groups of policemen on strike. I understand them. They are protesting the pressure they are under, the attacks from the media. They work in hard conditions and exert everything they can and are not met with appreciation or thanks."

The Islamist National Conscience Front, a political coalition that  includes President Mohamed Morsi's Freedom and Justice Party, released a statement condemning the police strike, saying "[police] forces should not withdraw from their duty or refrain from the great service [of protecting the people]," according to Ahram Online.

Meanwhile, the attorney general's office released a statement on Sunday encouraging Egyptian civilians to arrest lawbreakers, the Associated Press reported.

The statement set off a political storm, with the main opposition coalition viewing it as a move toward organizing militias.

The National Salvation Front said in a statement, "It is now clear why the regime insists on pitting the police against the people and relying on security measures to tackle problems that need social, economic and political solutions."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/130312/egypt-police-strike-ends-while-islamist-faction-encou