Violent protests erupt for second day in Egypt's Port Said

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 04, 2013 4:16 AM
Violent protests erupt for second day in Egypt's Port Said

CAIRO (Reuters) - Protesters threw petrol bombs and stones at police officers who responded by firing teargas in Egypt's Port Said on Monday, a day after five people were killed during demonstrations in the Suez Canal city.

Violent protests have erupted in Port Said since January over the detention of dozens of people after a soccer riot in the city last year in which 70 people were killed.

On Monday, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in front of a local government office to protest against the detentions and set fire to two police cars, a witness said.

Security forces fired teargas to disperse them.

Some 420 people have been wounded since the protests started on Sunday, about 60 from shotgun wounds and live bullets, said Sayed al-Masry, head of Port Said's ambulance service.

Two Egyptian policemen and three civilians were killed during the clashes on Sunday, security and medical sources said. The Interior Ministry said in a statement two of its personnel died of bullet wounds to the neck and head.

Egypt has been in political turmoil for the last two years since a popular uprising ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

His Islamist successor, Mohamed Mursi, has struggled to restore security since he was elected in June. Some 60 people died during a string of violent street protests between January 25, the anniversary of the revolution, and February 4 this year.

A perception among some Egyptians that Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood are trying to monopolize power has fuelled some demonstrations, as has a more general sense of political and economic malaise.

(Reporting by Yousri Mohamed, Marwa Awad and Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Louise Ireland)