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Egypt: Protesters set governorate's headquarters on fire in Port Said

05-03-2013

CAIRO, (Xinhua): Both the security and governorate's headquarters in Egypt's Port Said were set on fire on Monday as protesters hurled Molotov cocktail at the buildings, state-run Ahram online reported.

The protesters also blocked fire engines from reaching the blaze. The clashes left 138 injured, among them 14 were hurt by cartouche and birdshot.

More then 46 ambulances were sent to the scene to transfer the injured to the governmental hospitals, Helmy el-Hefny, deputy of health ministry in Port Said, told Xinhua.

Earlier in the day, thousands people participated in a funeral of three people who were killed in the latest clashes over moving 39 prisoners awaiting a verdict over a tragic football riot which killed over 70 in February last year in Port Said.

The Interior Ministry said it decided to move the prisoners from Port Said to Sharqiya governorate to avoid further unrest.

During the funeral, the protesters chanted anti-government slogans and carried banners reading "Down, down with rule by the guide," which referred to the Muslim Brotherhood's leader Mohamed Badie.

A day earlier, at least six people were killed, including three policemen, and over 500 injured in clashes between the protesters and the security forces in the unrest-ridden governorate.

An Interior Ministry source told Xinhua on Monday that some unidentified people had shot randomly at the security members guarding the two buildings and injured several of them -- one in critical condition.

Also on Monday, a statement of the Interior Ministry urged the residents of Port Said not to approach the police and the governmental institutions for their safety.

The statement said some people "are seeking discord between the protesters and the security forces to escalate the situation."

The armed forces reiterated their commitment to preserving the lives of the citizens in Port Said regardless of the sacrifice, said spokesperson of the armed forces Ahmed Ali in a statement posted on their official Facebook page on Monday.

Elsewhere in Egypt, protesters blocked October 6 bridge near the iconic Tahrir square in the capital Cairo to protest against the death of one protester and the injuries of another three in the early hours of Monday after a police vehicle hit them. Other masked people set a police car ablaze near Qaser al-Nile Bridge in the neighboring area, which completely hindered the traffic. The driver ran away from the vehicle before being caught by the protesters.

Also, clashes erupted between police and protesters on Corniche road in front of Semiramis hotel, whose equipment has been recently robbed in clashes by masked men, as the security forces responded with teargas.

Moreover, violent clashes erupted Monday when a Shura Council ( upper house of parliament) committee was discussing a draft law aimed at regulating protests, which was submitted by the government.

Some lawmakers called for differentiating between acts of thuggery and peaceful protests, according to official MENA news agency.


http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-03/05/c_132207799.htm

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