Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Egypt police and protesters clash for third day in Port Said
PORT SAID, Egypt (Reuters) - Egyptian security forces battled stone-throwing youths in the Suez Canal city of Port Said on Tuesday while in Cairo even police staged a protest, reflecting a country beset by discontent over a host of grievances.
By far the most serious trouble was in Port Said, at the canal's northern entrance, where police shot into the air and fired teargas during clashes with hundreds of protesters in a third day of unrest.
Port Said has seen waves of violent demonstrations since January over the detention of dozens of people in connection with a football riot last year in which more than 70 died.
At least six people have been killed in the latest protests, including three policemen. Hundreds more have been wounded, scores of them from gunshot wounds and live bullets, according to medical officials.
On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of a local government building and hurled stones at police, who reacted by firing tear gas and warning shots in the air, a Reuters witness said.
The witness said he had seen at least three people who appeared to be unconscious.
"The police are thugs," the protesters chanted. "We'll give our blood and souls for you, Port Said."
Live footage on Al Jazeera's Egypt channel showed dozens of men running and throwing rocks as black smoke rose in front of a building's charred facade. Tear gas canisters streaked through the air.
Egypt has been in political turmoil since a popular uprising ousted Hosni Mubarak as president in 2011. His Islamist successor, Mohamed Mursi, has struggled to restore security since his election in June.
Joblessness worsened by an economic crisis, anger at police brutality and fuel price rises have helped fuel the unrest.
About 60 people died during street protests across Egypt between January 25, the anniversary of the 2011 uprising, to February 4. Many of the demonstrators were calling for Mursi's resignation, accusing him and his Muslim Brotherhood of trying to monopolise power.
In a sign of the broader discontent afflicting the country, dozens of police officers blocked a major road in Cairo to protest about the killing of a colleague by an unknown attacker while he was investigating a bank robbery earlier on Tuesday, the state news agency said.
(Reporting by Yusri Mohamed; Writing by Asma Alsharif and Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer)
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