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Video of police beating naked man stokes protesters' anger in Egypt

| Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 8:52 p.m.

CAIRO — Egypt's Interior Minister vowed on Saturday to investigate the beating of a naked man by riot police that threatened to further inflame popular anger against security forces, but he suggested that initial results absolve the police of direct abuse.

The beating, caught on camera by The Associated Press, was broadcast live on Egyptian television late Friday as protests raged in the streets outside the presidential palace. The video showed police trying to bundle the naked man into a police van after beating him.

Less than 24 hours after the incident, several thousand anti-government demonstrators marched on the palace, denouncing the police and Islamist President Mohamed Morsy.

Speaking to reporters after Friday's assault, Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said initial results from the public prosecutor's investigation show that Hamada Saber, 48, was undressed by “rioters” during skirmishes between police and protesters. He was then hit in the foot by a bird shot, the interior minister said.

He stopped short of saying whether the injury was a result of police firing into the crowds.

“The central security forces then found him lying on the ground and tried to put him in an armored vehicle, though the way in which they did that was excessive,” said Ibrahim.

In the video, Saber's pants are around his ankles, and at least seven black-clad riot police are beating him with sticks. He's then dragged along the muddy pavement and tossed into a police van.

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