Egypt's interior minister said on Monday that the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood wanted to have "another revolution" on Sunday, the fourth anniversary of the 25 January 2011 uprising.
Mohamed Ibrahim said at a press conference that without the "police's decisive stance" the country's condition one day after the anniversary "would be completely different."
A number of limited protests took place nationwide on the anniversary of the uprising which toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak after 30 years in power.
Ibrahim said 516 alleged Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested nationwide on Sunday.
Twenty-three people were killed nationwide, including two police conscripts, and 97 were injured.
The majority of the deaths took place in Cairo's Matariya district.
Ibrahim said some elements climbed onto roofs in Matariya and started shooting randomly.
He added that it will be clear when the autopsies of the deceased are released on Tuesday that the police were not involved in the killings.
Ibrahim also said police foiled attempts to storm police stations.
"The era of storming prisons and police stations is long past, and won't return again," he stated.
Ibrahim also commented on the death of Shaimaa El-Sabagh, a 33-year-old labour activist and a leading member of Socialist Popular Alliance Party in Alexandria.
El-Sabagh was shot dead with birdshot on Saturday in downtown Cairo while peacefully marching to Tahrir Square, the cradle of the Egyptian revolution, to lay flowers in memory of protesters who died in the square four years ago.
El-Sabagh's party accused the police of premeditated murder. The prosecution is currently investigating the incident.
Ibrahim said that if the prosecution proves the involvement of one of the interior ministry's personnel in her killing, he will personally hand him in to be tried.
He added that police are only equipped with teargas when they handle peaceful protests.
He also stated that interior ministry personnel might commit transgressions, but these should be viewed as isolated incidents due to the large number of staff.
El-Sabagh is survived by her five-year-old son and her husband.