3 Feb 2012

Four killed in violent clashes in Egypt

International Editor

There have been more deaths following clashes between police and demonstrators in Egypt, as protests continue over the handling of the football stadium riot in Port Said.

At last four people have died and many more have been injured during violence between police and protesters in Cairo following 74 deaths at a football game. Two others died in Suez.

Protests over police handling of Wednesday night’s football stadium riot have spread from the capital, Cairo, to the city of Suez, where police were reported as using live rounds.

“We received two corpses of protesters shot dead by live ammunition,” said a doctor at a morgue in Cairo where the bodies were kept. A demonstrator and an army officer were reported to have died.

Clashes continued on Thursday between Egyptian security forces and protesters in central Cairo, who were protesting against the security forces’ failure to prevent a football brawl that killed more than 70 people in Port Said on Wednesday.

The trouble started after fans of the Port Said club al-Masry invaded the pitch after the home team’s 3-1 victory over al-Ahly, Egypt’s best-known club side.

Tear gas

Earlier on Thursday, nearly 10,000 protesters rallied to demand retribution for the bloody violence, which most blamed on police inaction.

The protesters pushed their way toward the barricaded Interior Ministry building near Tahrir Square, and hurled stones at police, who responded with heavy tear gas.

Many protesters were treated for the effects of tear gas.

The march turned into a call for the ruling military council of generals, led by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, to surrender power.

The military has faced protests for months led by secular and liberal youth groups demanding an end to its rule – and the soccer riot added to criticism that the generals have mismanaged the transition from Hosni Mubarak‘s regime.

Jonathan Rugman: "Conspiracy theories abound about how the tragedy could have happened"