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Port Said in mourning again

Further deaths in the Port city after over a month of unrest

Flames light the sky as Egyptians protesters clash with security forces in Port Said late (AFP Photo \ Stringer)
Flames light the sky as Egyptians protesters clash with security forces in Port Said late
(AFP Photo \ Stringer)

Massive funeral marches for those who died overnight in Port Said took place on Monday afternoon.

The death toll from the clashes in Port Said reached five and around 400 were injured. Most of the injured were suffered respiratory problems because of police use of teargas, Ministry of Health officials reported.

A 16 year old boy is amongst the casualties. Funeral prayers for two of the dead, including the young boy, were held at the Maryam Mosque. Prayers were followed by marches.

The deaths occurred after pieces of marble hit victims as they passed the Directorate of Security where the police were sheltering, activist Nasser Al-Boghdady said.

Al-Boghdady said workers in Investment Area factories have joined marches in Port Said on Monday. He added that thousands are participating in marches and that civil disobedience will continue.

Port Said was revisited by violence on Saturday but the clashes in the city between protesters and police turned deadly on Sunday after 39 defendants in the Port Said Trial were transferred out of Port Said on Sunday morning.

Keeping the defendants in Port Said is a popular demand among the city’s residents.

Protesters gathered outside the Directorate of Security in protest to the prisoners’ relocation move on Sunday morning and clashes broke out.

At first army personnel formed a barrier between protesters and police, after which the army retreated. Amid the clashes, at least one CSF personnel was killed after he was shot in the neck and an army officer was shot in the leg.

Al-Boghdady, an eyewitness, reported that the army responded by shooting at police. The clashes between the security groups took place on Sunday night and forced the police to retreat into the Directorate of Security.

After the clashes, the army spokesperson released a statement denying that clashes and an exchange of fire took place between the army and the police. “This information is not true…. army personnel in the area are there to secure the governorate building and separate protesters and Ministry of Interior personnel,” the statement read.

The statement also claimed that “unknown elements” shot and injured the army personnel.

“It happened in front of everyone,” Al-Boghdady said in reaction to the statement.

Despite the deadly clashes, the tents in Al-Masala Square, also known as the Martyrs’ Square, where protesters are camping out are still in place, Port Said resident Ibrahim Al-Sayad said.

The army called on people to avoid the governorate building and other buildings secured by the army to protect citizens and public property.

Many people have responded to a popular campaign to collect signatures to delegate the army with managing the affairs of the state.


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