Thousands of Egyptian mourners marched through the streets of Port Said in a funeral procession for three civilians killed during overnight clashes between protesters and police. The procession came as fresh clashes reignited in the restive city.
Hundreds gathered outside a local government office near the
Port Said security headquarters on Monday following violence on
Sunday night. Protesters lobbed Molotov cocktails and stones at
police, who fired tear gas to disperse the crowd, Reuters reported,
quoting security sources.
A fire broke out at the security directorate during the clashes,
sending thick plumes of black smoke into the air. Two police cars
were also set ablaze.
Around 35 people were injured in the clashes, and several were
struck by bullets, the state news agency MENA reports. One
man remains in critical condition after being shot in the
Five people, including two policemen, were killed in the night clashes. The demonstrators took to the streets to oppose a decision by the interior ministry to transfer 39 prisoners implicated in a violent 2012 soccer riot from the Suez Canal city to a jail on the other side of the Nile Delta.
The interior ministry said it moved the prisoners from Port Said
in order to avoid more confrontations.
On Monday, thousands gathered outside a city mosque and
performed prayers for the dead for the three civilians killed in
As the coffins were carried to the cemetery, chants of "the martyr is the beloved of God" filled the air.
Many in attendance waved the black-white-and-green flags of Port Said - which has become a symbol of the city's revolt against the government – as mourners decried officials from the interior ministry as “cowards.” There were also calls for Islamist President Mohamed Morsi to step down.
Some 586 people have been injured since the protests
started on Sunday, 16 of whom were hit with live rounds and another
27 with birdshot, Ahmed Sultan, head of emergency services, told
The city has witnessed unrest since late January, when a court sentenced 21 Port Said residents to death for the murders of 72 people after a football match in February 2012.
The fighting on Sunday prompted the military to intervene to
quell the violence. It was the first time the military had been
deployed in the city tensions between protesters and police boiled
over following the court's verdict.
The military characterized the clashes as "unfortunate"
in a statement on its Facebook page, Reuters reports. The statement
further read that the "great people" of Port Said were in
the "heart and conscience of the armed forces."
Tensions are likely to remain high throughout the week as the
second phase of the Port Said trial is set to commence on Saturday.
Thirty nine more defendants implicated in the riots will be issued
verdicts in the case.