An Interior Ministry official said Thursday that gun use among police and security forces will increase “gradually.”
Abdel Fattah Othman, the head of the ministry’s general administration for media and public relations, said the Police Authority Law allows members of police to use arms in the defense of public buildings in a Facebook post.
Othman added that the ministry “will not back away from its role to protect state establishments and will confront [any attempts of vandalism]” or “be involved in attempts to creating division between the ministry and Egyptians.”
The comments were made in response to questions over whether more police forces will be allowed to carry guns and use live ammunition, which many low-ranking officers have demanded during a nationwide strike.
Currently, most low-ranking offers do not carry guns.
Meanwhile, the Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said Thursday that police forces have a “national apparatus to serve the people,” adding that they cannot be influenced by political factions because they are governed by the ministry alone.
Othman said that Ibrahim is looking to implement some of the striking police forces’ requests and that he understood the inherent challenges they face trying to enforce the law under difficult circumstances.