Police, protesters clash in Egypt

2013-03-02 22:40
Egyptian protesters (File, AFP)

Egyptian protesters (File, AFP)

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Cairo - Clashes erupted between dozens of protesters and police forces in Egypt's Nile Delta city of Mansoura on Saturday after the funeral of a man killed a day earlier.

After the funeral, protesters burnt tyres to block one of the city's main roads. They later stormed the security building in Mansoura, the Interior Ministry reported.

Police forces used tear gas to disperse the crowds. The state-run al-Ahram said dozens were injured in the clashes.

The man was killed on Friday when he was run over by a police vehicle during a protest in the city, about 120 kilometres north-east of Cairo.

Earlier Saturday, anti-government protesters torched a police station in Port Said. Around 500 people hurled stones and petrol bombs at the building, causing several fires inside, according to security officials.

Cops injured in attack

The protesters also damaged fire engines, which were on their way to extinguish the blazes, the latest incident of unrest in the restive city.

In another incident, at least six policemen were injured in an attack on police cars by protesters.

Port Said has been in turmoil since late January, when more than 40 people were killed in clashes with police after a court sentenced to death 21 locals on charges of involvement in a deadly football riot more than a year ago.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged officials to fully examine police responsibility for unlawful killings in the January violence.

The newly appointed investigative judge looking into the January violence in Port Said has been tasked with fully examining police responsibility for unlawful killings during the episode.

In a joint report with three local rights groups, HRW said that evidence gathered indicates that police began shooting when they came under fire on January 26, but continued shooting after the threat against them receded, killing and wounding a number of protestors and bystanders.

60 killed

So far, no charges have been brought against any police officer, the groups added.

"President Mohammed Morsi should publicly acknowledge that the police's right to use lethal force is not unlimited, even when they come under attack, and order the police to limit any use of force to what is strictly necessary," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW.

Port Said was one of three Suez Canal cities where President Mohammed Morsi in January imposed a night-time curfew in the wake of deadly unrest.

Nearly 60 people have recently been killed in anti-government protests across Egypt, according to official figures, amid a deep political crisis pitting the Islamist president against the mostly secular opposition.
Read more on:    hrw  |  egypt  |  north africa

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