Inside Story – Is the promise of democracy fading in Egypt?

The Associated Press reports: A military official on Wednesday blamed a group of Christian protesters for starting violent clashes with armed troops, saying some attacked soldiers with swords and firebombs during a Christian rally earlier this week that turned into Egypt’s worst violence since Hosni Mubarak was ousted.

Gen. Adel Emara denied the troops opened fire with live ammunition on the protesters or intentionally ran over them with armored vehicles. The violence late Sunday left at least 26 people dead, most of whom where Christians and many of whom were crushed by vehicles or died from gunfire, according to forensic reports. State media said at least three soldiers were also killed.

Emara spoke at a press conference Wednesday that was clearly aimed at defending Egypt’s military rulers from heavy criticism they have come under for the violence at the protests. He gave a detailed account of the military’s version of the events, using video footage of the events culled from state TV and independent stations. One of the images showed a protester hurling a heavy stone at soldiers inside an armored vehicle.

And what about the armored vehicles which shocked the world as they were seen charging through crowds like raging bulls?

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