CAIRO, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Interior Minister expressed Saturday his regret at the aggression of policemen against a protester a day earlier, who was beaten up and stripped before being dragged to a police vehicle, official news agency MENA reported, as the opposition bloc the National Salvation Front (NSF) denounced the incident and urged protests to topple President Mohamed Morsi's leadership.
Mohamed Ibrahim, the minister, told reporters at a press conference that he referred the issue to the prosecution for investigation and that he would receive the citizen by himself after the latter came back from hospital and apologize to him.
"If the police collapses, Egypt will turn into a country of militants like some other neighboring states," the interior minister warned.
Ibrahim explained that the security men avoided peaceful protesters until some 300 of the protesters attempted to clash with the presidential guards and attacked the palace with Molotov cocktails and fireworks.
"The security forces had to reply with tear gas bombs to disperse the protesters near the palace," Ibrahim added, noting that 15 police officers were injured and 11 rioters were arrested.
The statement came a day after clashes erupted outside the presidential palace in Cairo between protesters and security forces, in which one was killed and dozens were injured, according to the health ministry.
Meanwhile, Egypt's main opposition bloc the NSF denounced in a statement Saturday the police aggression against a disarmed citizen as violation of "the dignity of the Egyptian citizen."
The front also urged nationwide protests to topple President Mohamed Morsi's leadership and his Muslim Brotherhood group, adding it would not join national dialogue unless the recent bloodshed is stopped and investigated.
On Thursday, the NSF had signed an agreement with rival Islamist parties, calling for denouncing violence and setting up mechanisms for a national dialogue to get the country out of the ongoing crisis.
The meeting, sponsored by Egypt's top Islamic institution al- Azhar, was attended by leaders of the NSF, the MB, Salafist al- Nour Party, moderate al-Wasat Party and others.