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State TV: Egypt fires nearly 600 senior officers as part of cleansing police force
CAIRO (AP) ' Egypt on Wednesday fired nearly 600 top police officers as part of cleansing the discredited and widely unpopular force, state television reported.
The move announced by Interior Minister Mansour el-Issawi meets a key demand by protesters camping out at Cairo's central Tahrir Square. The protesters want the police force to be purged of Mubarak loyalists and officers involved in the killing of nearly 900 protesters during the Jan. 25-Feb. 11 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak's regime in February.
The television said that of the officers fired, 37 are facing charges of killing protesters.
Among those dismissed were 505 major-generals and 82 brigadiers, the report said.
Egypt's state news agency, meanwhile, said that parliamentary elections that had been widely expected to be held in September will now take place a month or two later.
The military, which took over from Mubarak, effectively announced a delay of the elections on Tuesday when it said preparations for the vote would start Sept. 30.
The delay is a nod to the demands of some of the protesters.
Many of the political parties that arose from the uprising wanted to have the vote delayed so they can compete more effectively against better prepared and financed Islamists, like the Muslim Brotherhood.
The military also said Tuesday it would draft a set of regulations for selecting the 100-member assembly that will write a new constitution. That could make it more difficult for any Islamist-led legislature to choose the body and thereby give the charter an Islamist slant.