Saturday, January 26, 2013

At least nine deaths in Egypt at protests marking second anniversary of the revolution

Young protesters on a barricade near Tahrir. (The barricade was erected by the army, a long time ago). Photo AP. 

At least eight deaths were reported in the Suez Governorate late Friday, as well as one death in Ismailia, according to medical and security sources in the area, after protests there turned violent on the day marking the 25 January 2011 uprising, where the first martyr also fell in Suez.
Reports say armed forces have been deployed in Suez to secure strategic institutions. Armed Personnel Carriers and army vehicles were sighted in the governorate.
Sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that six protesters and two security forces have been killed in the clashes. Officials also said280 people have been injured in the city, according to Reuters. There are also reports of a death in Ismailia, raising the death toll to nine in two governorates.
The Health Ministry has reported only seven deaths, and more than 450 injuries in separate governorates.
There were calls for major protests in Upper Egypt, Nile Delta and the North Coast, including the governorates of Aswan, Qena, the Red Sea, Assiut, Minya, Gharbiya, Kafr al-Sheikh, Damietta, Daqahlia, Suez and Alexandria. By mid-afternoon, protests quickly turned violent in cities across the nation.
Numerous injuries have been reported nationwide and clashes are ongoing in Suez, Alexandria and in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Hundreds of protesters stormed the front gate of the Kafr al-Sheikh Governorate headquarters on Friday evening. They demanded that the head of the governorate's security directorate hand over the building completely, or they would escalate their actions.The protesters said a revolutionary committee would take control of the directorate.They also demanded that Kafr al-Sheikh Governor Saad al-Husseiny, the FJP's former MP of the dissolved Parliament, step down, and chanted anti-Brotherhood slogans.
Meanwhile in Suez Governorate, 12 police officers were injured in the ongoing clashes between protesters and security forces.
Earlier in the day Thousands flocked to Arbaeen Square after Friday prayers, chanting slogans against the Brotherhood. Heightened security measures were implemented around government institutions there.
The protests quickly turned violent when hundreds of demonstrators allegedly tried to storm the governorate headquarters in the afternoon. Police responded by firing tear gas canisters into the crowd.
Hit-and-run operations between the two sides continued throughout the day outside the municipal building and in the surrounding streets.
Demonstrators chanted, "Bread, freedom, the president lost legitimacy," and held banners reading: "Two years since the revolution, and Egypt still needs another revolution," "The Brotherhood gave up the cause," and "The revolution continues."
Dozens stormed the FJP office in Damanhur, capital of Beheira Governorate in the Delta. Protesters smashed the contents of the office and tore down its banner, then hurled stones at the Central Security Forces to prevent them from approaching.
Hundreds of protesters also clashed with security forces near President Mohamed Morsy's home in Sharqiya on Friday afternoon. Protesters hurled Molotov cocktails and rocks at the police, who responded with tear gas.
Violence also broke out in Ismailia when hundreds stormed the FJP's headquarters in Ismailia City. They reportedly destroyed the office's entrance, then ripped apart the furniture and computers and threw them into the street.
Security forces fired tear gas to disperse the protesters, causing some to be hospitalized for suffocation.
In Beni Suef Governorate, protesters blocked the railways, causing a complete halt of train traffic between Cairo and Aswan. Similar incidents occurred in Gharbiya Governorate, in the cities of Mahalla and Kafr al-Zayat.

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