Egypt gets U.S. shipment of tear gas

April 9, 2013 at 9:42 AM   |   Comments

CAIRO, April 9 (UPI) -- The Egyptian government received a shipment of 140,000 tear gas canisters from the United States for state protection, shipping documents reveal.

The Egyptian Interior Ministry in February agreed to pay $2.4 million for tear gas from the United States. The Egyptian Independent news agency reports that documents its reviewed indicate the shipment arrived Sunday and state that tear gas is for exclusive use by the Egyptian government.

Interior Minister spokesman Hani Abdel Latif said the tear gas is meant to help protect state institutions.

Egyptian police responded with tear gas during weekend clashes outside the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo. Skirmishes there left at least 2 people dead and 89 others injured.

A presidential statement published by the news agency said clashes erupted after a funeral for Christians killed during clashes with Muslim locals.

"Security forces contained the situation and deployed forces throughout the city to prevent further clashes, while judicial authorities opened an investigation into the incident and arrests were made against suspects," the statement read.

Egypt has been on edge since its 2011 revolution. In June, Mohamed Morsi became the first president elected by a democratic vote in Egyptian history.

His administration has come under fire for seeming to favor Islamic ideologies. Morsi hails from the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.

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