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Egyptian police attack naked protester

WARNING - VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT: An Egyptian television channel broadcasts a video of Egyptian riot police beating a naked protester in Cairo.

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CAIRO: Video footage of a man beaten and dragged naked by police in Cairo has triggered outrage in Egypt and prompted calls for the Interior Minister, Mohammed Ibrahim, to resign.

But hours after the presidency expressed disappointment over the incident and Mr Ibrahim offered to resign, the man told state television the officers were trying to save him from protesters - a claim quickly dismissed by his relatives.

Footage was broadcast live on television during protests on Friday night against the Islamist President, Mohamed Mursi. It has sparked an outpouring of condemnation on social media.

Egyptian riot policemen dragging and beating an unidentified naked man

Outrage ... footage of police apparently attacking the protester Hamada Saber. Photo: AFP

In the video, riot police can be seen beating a man in his 50s before he is dragged into an armoured vehicle in front of the presidential palace.

''The horrible and degrading images showing the central security officers and police beating and dragging a naked man near the presidential palace should lead to the Interior Minister's immediate resignation,'' said Khaled Dawoud, a spokesman for the main opposition National Salvation Front.

The presidency said it was ''pained by the shocking footage of some policemen treating a protester in a manner that does not accord with human dignity and human rights''.

Mr Ibrahim's office said he had ordered an investigation to ''hold accountable'' those who beat the man, and that he would resign if ''that's what the people want''.

Prosecutors said Hamada Saber, a 50-year-old painter sent to a police hospital, had been found carrying petrol bombs.

Mr Saber, in an interview with state television late on Saturday, said the police were saving him from protesters.

''They gathered around me and roughed me up. They took my clothes, then they said, 'Hey, this guy isn't a policeman, he's an old man','' Mr Saber said from his hospital bed.

Then, he said: ''I tried to resist the police because I didn't want to get into their armoured vehicle, but then I realised that they were trying to save me.''

But minutes after his interview, relatives dismissed his claim. ''He's lying. He is scared,'' his daughter, Randa, told state television.

Agence France-Presse