CAIRO (AP) - Egypt's Interior Ministry has offered a rare expression of regret after riot police were caught on camera yesterday beating a protester who had been stripped of his clothes.
The video shows police then dragging the naked man along the muddy pavement before bundling him into a police van.
The incident took place only blocks from the presidential palace where protests raged in the streets Friday. The video has further inflamed popular anger with security forces and several thousand anti-government demonstrators marched on the palace again today.
In its statement, the Interior Ministry promised an investigation of the incident. But it also distanced itself from the abuse, saying it "was carried out by individuals that do not represent in any way the doctrine of all policemen."
Later, Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim put the blame elsewhere entirely, saying "rioters" had undressed the man during skirmishes with police.
President Mohammed Morsi's office called the beating "shocking", but stressed that violence and vandalism of government property is unacceptable.
The uprising that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011 was fueled in part by anger over police brutality.