CAIRO (AP) — Strikes by Egyptian security forces are spreading across the country.
Police are walking off the job or taking to the streets -- angry at being blamed for crackdowns on protests against the country's Islamist president. They're accusing the president's Muslim Brotherhood of trying to control them.
One powerful hard-line Islamist group says its members will now take over policing in a southern province because most security forces are on strike. The top security official there says the announcement by the group was illegal -- but he seemed to acknowledge that he could not stop it.
Strikes by policemen and riot police are reported in at least 10 of Egypt's 29 provinces, including at several stations in the capital.
Police there demonstrated in front of the Interior Ministry, and demanded the resignation of the minister, their boss.
The police discontent comes after relentless protests and unrest around Egypt since late January. In recent weeks, protesters have taken to the streets largely in anger against President Mohammad Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. The opposition accuses them of trying to dominate power in Egypt. But other factors have fueled the unrest, including a declining economy and fuel shortages.
GRAPHICSBANK: An Egyptian protester holds stones during clashes with riot police near a state security building in Port Said, Egypt, graphic element on gray (8 Mar 2013)
APPHOTO KH122: Egyptians chant slogans as others carry the coffin of Abd Alhaleem Mohanna, 23, who was killed on March 5, 2013 during clashes with riot police, during his funeral in Port Said, Egypt, Friday, March 8, 2013. Egypt's police forces have withdrawn from the streets of this restive city on the Suez Canal, handing over security to the military after nearly a week of deadly clashes. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) (8 Mar 2013)
<<APPHOTO KH122 (03/08/13)>>
APPHOTO AMR103: Egyptian police officers hold a protest demanding the resignation of the interior minister, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, March 8, 2013. After weeks of battling with angry young protesters, Egypt's police forces have had enough. Police units around the country have launched mutinies, strikes and protests, accusing the Islamist president of using them to fight his opponents. Angry riot police locked their commander in a camp for hours. Policemen in cities around the country have shut down their stations. The wave of police discontent adds a new layer to the breakdown of politics, order and institutions in crisis-torn Egypt. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil) (8 Mar 2013)
<<APPHOTO AMR103 (03/08/13)>>