Protests broke out in Mansoura city on Sunday in reaction to the violent clashes the city has witnessed during recent days.
Thousands marched from Mansoura University, chanting slogans criticising President Mohamed Morsi and the ministry of interior for dealing violently with protesters. During the past two days, a man was crushed by a Central Security Forces (CSF) Vehicle and the offices of the Popular Current and Social Popular Alliance Party were destroyed after the CSF broke in, arresting and injuring several people.
On Saturday, violent clashes broke out between protesters and CSF in Mansoura after the funeral of Hossam Abdallah Abdel Azeem, a resident of Mansoura who was killed by a CSF vehicle on Friday.
The clashes began when mourners threw rocks at security forces located at one of Mansoura’s prisons, as they passed by the prison on their way from Al-Nasr mosque towards the Abdel Azeem family’s cemetery. Security forces fired cautionary gunshots in the air and clashes ended as mourners moved on towards the cemetery.
The mourners then attacked the old Daqahleya security directorate building, where police officers fired birdshots and teargas bombs at them according to Mohamed Ezz, an activist and resident of Mansoura, who said the clashes then came to an end.
Hours later, violent clashes again broke out between hundreds of protesters gathered at Al-Thawra Square and CSF members. Protesters hurled rocks at the CSF who fired an extensive amount of teargas bombs and birdshot, according to Hafez El-Shae’r, the media coordinator of the Popular Current in Daqahleya. El-Shae’r mentioned that the CSF did not prevent civilians from attacking protesters. “They actually cooperated with them.”
The offices of the Popular Current and Social Popular Alliance Party, located at the nearby Suez Canal Street, were used as field hospitals and treated injured protesters.
El-Shae’r said the CSF fired teargas bombs into the building where both offices are located, before breaking into the Social Popular Alliance Party’s office, destroying it, and arresting several people. He added that the CSF broke into the Popular Current office 15 minutes later, destroying the office and beating doctors and patients inside. El-Shae’r claimed that Hadeer Kamel, a protester, and Samir Waheed, a photojournalist at Al-Watan newspaper, were amongst those beaten in the office. He alleged that the CSF destroyed Waheed’s camera and broke his arm.
“Such shameful acts did not occur during Mubarak’s regime. The Muslim Brotherhood is trying to break the Popular Current because they certainly know that Hamdeen Sabahi [founder of the Popular Current] is the only threat on their attempts to control the state,” El-Sha’er said.
El-Shae’r mentioned that several Popular Current members were arrested a few days ago after arriving in Mansoura from Mahalla to provide medical assistance to the injured. He said the members were arrested on their way back to Mahalla and are being held in custody while investigations take place.
The National Salvation Front issued a statement on Saturday night, condemning the CSF aggression, which it described as “brutal”. The statement asserted that violence would not stop opposition forces from demanding justice, human dignity, and democracy.