Death toll in Egypt clashes climbs to 38, over 700 injured

The bodies, wrapped in white shrouds, were carried in open coffins along the main avenue of Port Said.

Updated: Jan 28, 2013, 12:48 PM IST

Cairo: The death toll in fierce clashes in Egypt rose to 38 with over 700 injured as fresh violence erupted today during the funeral of the people killed in the unrest triggered by death sentences given to 21 football fans for a last year`s post-match riot.

The bodies, wrapped in white shrouds, were carried in open coffins along the main avenue of Port Said, an Egyptian canal city, during which a brief burst of gunfire set off chaotic scenes that later degenerated into rioting.

Three persons were killed today and more than 400 injured in the city when unidentified gunmen opened fire at the funeral of the people killed in violence yesterday.

Live ammunition, birdshot and tear gas were responsible for most of the injuries. Eyewitnesses claim to have seen masked groups shooting security troops in Police Club Square during the funeral procession.

The epicenter of the current unrest in Egypt has moved from the capital Cairo to the area of the Suez Canal.

In Cairo, the smell of acrid tear gas still lingered in the skies as skirmishes erupted all day between protesters and the security.

Condemning the clashes that had left over 300 people injured yesterday, the Presidency called for a national dialogue in the wake of the ongoing unrest.

In a statement, it also praised police and judiciary for their integrity.

The Presidency`s statement came as the Health Ministry said the death toll in the fierce clashes between protesters and security forces in Port Said had climbed to 38, with three people, including an 18-year-old boy, killed in violence today.

Chaos broke out soon after a court yesterday handed down the death penalty to 21 fans of Port Said club Al-Masry over the killing of 74 people in post-match violence last February following a game with Cairo side Al-Ahly.

The violence yesterday came at a time when unrest was sweeping Egypt on the second anniversary of the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak.