4 killed in Egypt's anti-military violence

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Egypt
Cairo, Feb 4: Riot police clashed with anti-military protesters in different parts of Egypt on Friday for the second straight day, leaving at least four people dead and over 1,000 injured in the latest unrest sparked by the worst soccer violence in the country that claimed 74 lives this week.

Rock-throwing protesters in Cairo clashed with the security forces for the second straight day that left at least four people dead and more than 1000 injured nationwide, officials said.

BBC reported at least four people have been killed in the in Egypt.

The unrest has now spread across the country, and two people were shot dead in Suez as a crowd of hundreds attempted to overrun a police station.

An anti-government demonstrator and a soldier died in Cairo in clashes outside the interior ministry as a key tax building near the interior building was up in flames, the report said.

State television was quoted as saying in the media that the Egyptian government building, opposite the interior ministry where protesters clashed with police, was in flames.

“Fire in the Tax Authority building, opposite the interior ministry,” state television reported, without providing details on the cause of the blaze.

Amid the anger over the incident combined with frustration at the slow pace of reforms, pro-democracy protesters blamed the ruling military council for the violence and unrest in the country.

The protesters demanded the prosecution of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the ruling military council.

The secretary-general of the Muslim Brotherhood too blamed the military for the deaths.

At least 74 people were killed and nearly 250 injured in Egypt’s worst-ever soccer violence on Wednesday that saw pitched battles between armed rival football fans in the city of Port Said.

Thousands of protesters clashed with police outside the interior ministry in Cairo yesterday, which left more than 1,000 injured, the health ministry said. Some 54 police officers and soldiers were also reported hurt. Protesters today gathered on the streets of Egypt’s capital Cairo.

Many Egyptians blame the police for causing the football riot, in the northern city of Port Said. Most of the dead were believed to be supporters of Cairo’s al-Ahly team, who were attacked after losing a match to Port Said side al-Masry.

A group of hard-core al-Ahly fans known as the “ultras” have accused the authorities of allowing the killings to happen.

They say the authorities wanted revenge because the “ultras” were among those battling the police during last year’s revolution that ousted strongman ruler Hosni Mubarak.

Many are criticising the police for allowing weapons into the stadium, not doing more to intervene and not deploying in sufficient numbers.

Protesters told BBC that many middle-ranking officers loyal to Mubarak were still in charge and were “conspiring against revolution”.

The government has dismissed several senior officials in response to the football deaths. Port Said’s director of security and the head of investigations were suspended and are now in custody.

Protesters provoked the riot police earlier in the evening after thousands of people, many of them football fans known as “ultras”, marched from the Ahly Club in Zamalek into downtown Cairo to protest yesterday’s violence.

The march broke into two smaller parts when it reached Tahrir Square, with one headed for the Interior Ministry and the other aiming for the nearby People’s Assembly building.

Protesters chanted slogans against the ruling military junta, which they hold responsible for the deadly events.

PTI

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