International

Egypt's Interior Ministry On Fire; Police Had Been Protesting There

There's a major fire now raging at Egypt's Interior Ministry in Cairo.

Reuters says the fire is tearing "through a building in the Egyptian Interior Ministry compound in central Cairo ... and a ministry source said it was probably linked to a protest by police over pay and conditions."

Independent reporter Jon Jensen, who has been blogging, tweeting and posting photos from Egypt throughout the revolution there, has photos online here that show the smoke and flames.

CNN's Ivan Watson estimates that seven floors may be engulfed and that parts of the building have collapsed.

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET: Now, The Associated Press says, one of the police who had been protesting is blaming other for the blaze. He "accused those inside of setting if off by burning security files to get rid of evidence of police abuses," the wire service says.

Update at 11:27 a.m. ET: The Associated Press is now on the story and writes that "an Egyptian security official says police protesting in front of Egypt's Interior Ministry have set fire to part of the downtown complex."

Update at 11:17 a.m. ET: CNN's Watson notes that the ministry was the "nerve center of the police state" during President Hosni Mubarak's more than 30 years in office.

Update at 11:13 a.m. ET: Jensen says on his Twitter page that "fire fighters getting it under control. Damage seems contained to top floor on west side."

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