Violence continues unabated in Egyptian port city

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 00:32

Cairo: Clashes between protesters and security forces in the Egyptian city of Port Said continued for the third day leaving scores injured on both sides, officials said.

Clashes broke out in the city last Sunday after ten days of civil disobedience. After the dust settled, three civilians and three security officers lay dead.

Port Said has witnessed a series of riots and protests since January 26, when 21 people were sentenced to death for their role in last year`s football stadium tragedy that left over 70 fans dead. The unrest has claimed 40 lives since.

The violence was further fuelled when relatives of the accused charged with involvement in the stadium disaster were told that the inmates would be transported to a prison outside the city.

The supporters of the accused attempted to storm the Port Said Security Directorate while police responded with teargas in an attempt to disperse the crowds.

Meanwhile, fires at both the security directorate building and Port Said`s governorate headquarters sparked yesterday by protesters throwing Molotov-cocktails continued to spread after fire-fighters failed arrive.

Yesterday afternoon, Egypt`s interior ministry issued a statement in which it asserted that "armed individuals" were firing randomly at both military personnel and police.

The ministry went on to urge local citizens to avoid government buildings.
Meanwhile the completion of the verdict in the case of the football massacre is expected on Saturday.

Families of the accused and football fans have launched a civil disobedience campaign in Port Said for over two weeks to protest what they see as unjust verdicts in the stadium trial and perceived marginalisation by the central government in Cairo.

At least 79 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured in clashes between rival football fans at Port Said Stadium following a match between Al-Masry and Al Ahly clubs on February 1, 2012.


First Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 00:32

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