x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

US thanks Egypt for the swift release of students

The United States thanked Egypt yesterday for urgently handling the case of three US students arrested during protests in Tahrir Square.

WASHINGTON // The United States thanked Egypt yesterday for urgently handling the case of three US students arrested during protests in Tahrir Square.

While not confirming reports that the trio had been ordered released, a spokesman for the state department, Mark Toner, said US officials were in contact with the students and their families as they provided consular assistance.

"We appreciate the ongoing expeditious consideration of this case by the Egyptian authorities," he said in a statement.

The official Mena news agency reported that an Egyptian court yesterday ordered the release the three students of the American University in Cairo, who the prosecutor general had ordered one day earlier to be detained for four days.

The students had been arrested on Monday along with other protesters at an anti-military rally in Tahrir. Thousands had been converging on the square to demand the end of military rule and a swift transition to civilian authority.

The suspects had been arrested with a bag allegedly containing a water bottle filled with petrol, Mena reported.