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Hosni Mubarak's police chief 'gave shoot to kill order'

Police, including rooftop snipers, were responsible for nearly all of the deaths of the 850 protesters killed during Egypt's January 2011 uprising, a government inquiry has concluded.

The report on the former regime's actions during the 18-day uprising suggests that Hosni Mubarak's security chief authorised the deadly force, and did so with the former president's full knowledge, according to excerpts of the document seen by the Associated Press.

The investigation, commissioned by Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, is likely to prove critical in the upcoming retrial of Mubarak and other former officials, including the former Interior Minister, Habib el-Adly.

The findings are also likely to lead to prosecutions of senior police figures and renewed recriminations at a time when the police force, still widely reviled for its brutality in the revolution and during Mubarak's 29-year rule, is arguably at its lowest ebb.

Police officers across the country are striking and claim they are being used to put down anti-government protests. Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim urged Egyptians at the weekend not to draw the police into politics.

The police have rebutted accusations that they were responsible for protester deaths in Cairo and elsewhere during the uprising that ended in Mubarak's rule.

In January, an Egyptian appeals court threw out the conviction and life imprisonment of Mubarak and ordered a retrial in April.

Mubarak has always denied knowledge of police tactics against protesters, and the report appears to stop short of accusing the former president of ordering the violence.