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Clashes nationwide

Clashes erupt throughout the country, two protesters killed in renewed Corniche Al-Nil clashes

Egyptian protesters carry their gravely injured comrade during clashes with riot police near Tahrir Square in Cairo (AFP Photo)
Egyptian protesters carry their gravely injured comrade during clashes with riot police near Tahrir Square in Cairo
(AFP Photo)

Two protesters were killed as clashes broke out again around Qasr Al-Nil Bridge and the Corniche Al-Nil in Cairo on Saturday afternoon.

Protesters pelted rocks at security forces, who responded by firing teargas at them, reported state-owned Al-Ahram. One protester, Fadl Abdel Qader, died in the clashes. Head of the ambulance authority Mohamed Sultan told independent news channel ONTV that Abdel Qader suffocated due to teargas. He died as he was being transferred to hospital. One other protester died after sustaining serious injuries due to birdshot, according to Al-Ahram.

 Al-Qazaz restaurant in Tal’at Harb Square and Mo’men restaurant in Bab Al-Louk were both burnt down.

The Ministry of Interior released a statement on Saturday saying that security personnel were acting with restraint amid attacks on public and privately-owned institutions. The ministry added that “a group of youth continues to attack security forces tasked with securing embassies in Corniche Al-Nil Street”. The ministry warned of taking serious steps permitted by Egyptian law to deter such attacks.

Twelve protesters were arrested on Friday night in the vicinity of Tahrir Square, said lawyer Amr Imam. The protesters were referred to investigation at Abdin Court on Saturday.

Similar clashes erupted on Friday night at Simon Bolivar Square, on the Corniche Al-Nile, reported state-owned news agency MENA. A group of masked men threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at security forces protecting the American Embassy in Cairo. Security forces responded by firing teargas at protesters.

Outside Cairo, violent clashes erupted in Mahalla city in Gharbeya following the Friday prayer at noon; the clashes continued until late at night. Protesters surrounded the police station where they were attacked with teargas and birdshot. Some protesters threw Molotov cocktails at the security forces, said Ahmed Abdel Qader, an Al-Dostour Party member in Mahalla.

“People were protesting the accidental shooting of an entire family in Mahalla,” said Abdel Qader. Police officers opened fire at the family on Tuesday as they approached a security checkpoint in Mahalla, leaving the family of four dead. Police were looking for a stolen vehicle similar to the family’s car.

Mahalla’s deputy for the Ministry of Health Mohamed Sharshar told Al-Ahram 24 injuries were sustained as a result of the clashes. Eight of those injured were police personnel.

Clashes were less severe in the city of Tanta, Gharbeya. Protesters surrounded the Gharbeya Security Directorate on Friday evening, and Central Security Forces (CSF) locked the building and left, according to Ahmed Anwar, a blogger in Tanta.

Gharbeya Security Director Hatem Othman denied attempts were made by protesters to break into the security directorate. Othman stated that everything was quiet around the directorate, also denying that the building was surrounded by protesters.

Anwar stated that a group of protesters attempted to torch the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Gharbeya on Friday night, attacking the building with Molotov cocktails. The fire was soon put out by neighbours and some Brotherhood members. Muslim Brotherhood members could not be reached for comment.

In Alexandria, three protesters were expected to face prosecution on Saturday after being arrested on Friday night. Their investigation was postponed after Alexandria’s Security Director stated he was unable to secure the proceedings; it has been moved to Borg Al-Arab, said Mahienour El-Massry, a No Military Trials movement member in Alexandria.

Around 60 members of the Ikhwan Kazeboon campaign were projecting a data show introducing civil disobedience in Victor Emmanuel Square when they were attacked with teargas by CSF, said Ahmed Wahba, a political activist. CSF forces then chased the campaign members towards the Alexandria Security Directorate, Wahba added.

The situation was calmer in Mansoura, Daqahleya, where protesters took to the street following the Friday prayer and marched in memory of Hossam Abdel Azeem, a resident of Mansoura who died after being hit by a CSF vehicle last Friday, reported Al-Ahram. Protesters gathered outside the Security Directorate but no clashes took place.

“Ever since the CSF withdrew on Wednesday, no clashes have taken place in Mansoura,” said Hamdy Qenawy, a founding member of Kefaya movement. “Clashes erupt and acts of thuggery prevail only when the police are party to the conflict.”

Additional reporting by Fady Salah

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