CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian authorities on Thursday arrested three men over a grisly online video showing a group of men stabbing and bludgeoning a dog to death on a busy Cairo street.
The video, which surfaced earlier in the day, triggered an avalanche of angry comments on social media that expressed horror at the killing and berating onlookers who in the video stood by and watched.
The dog, a cross between a pure Rhodesian Ridgeback and a mutt, was tied while the men set upon it with knives, machetes and clubs.
The dog's owner, Mohammed Sayed, told a TV talk show Wednesday night that he had handed over the dog to the men to settle a long-running dispute. The case is rooted in an incident several months ago when the dog, named Max, bit eight people during an argument between Sayed and his neighbors.
Two of the three men arrested are butchers from the densely populated Cairo district of Shoubrah.
Security officials said the men face charges under laws preventing cruelty to animals as well as possession of weapons and terrifying people. The killing took place four days ago, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Sayed told the TV talk show that he had offered a sheep to settle the dispute but his rivals insisted on taking Max and killing him. In return, they promised to drop charges against Sayed for letting his dog bite the eight people.
"My dog was so loyal he looked at me while he was dying as if to beg me to save him, but I could not do anything for him," Sayed told the TV interviewer by telephone.
Cruelty to animals is widespread in Egypt, a country of some 90 million people with hundreds of thousands of stray dogs and cats roaming the streets. However, the video of Max's killing moved many people at a time when the country has been roiled in deadly turmoil in the four years since the ouster of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.