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Egyptian president amends law to give military control over arms imports

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CAIRO — The Egyptian president has amended a law, giving the country's army control over weapons and ammunition imports.

Tuesday's statement from the presidency says Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi changed articles stipulating that a permit for weapons' imports has to be granted by the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the police.

PHOTO: In this photo provided by Egypt's state news agency MENA, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi looks out as air force jets escort the presidential airplane after it entered Egyptian airspace, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. El-Sissi returned to Egypt from New York Friday after he addressed the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters on Wednesday. (AP Photo/MENA)
In this photo provided by Egypt's state news agency MENA, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi looks out as air force jets escort the presidential airplane after it entered Egyptian airspace, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. El-Sissi returned to Egypt from New York Friday after he addressed the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters on Wednesday. (AP Photo/MENA)

El-Sissi's amendments state that the Defense Ministry must give its approval first.

The motive for the amendments was not immediately clear but they give the military more power to control the country's weapons market.

Egypt has been awash with weapons since 2011, the year Hosni Mubarak was ousted as president and when the police force collapsed for a period of time. That same year, neighboring Libya became the main source of illegal arms, following the fall of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

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