Egyptian Military Clashes with Protesters in Port Said

One military officer and two soldiers were injured in clashes between protesters and security forces in Port Said in northern Egypt on Sunday, Helmy el-Hefny, deputy of health ministry in Port Said, told Xinhua.

While state-run Ahram online quoted a military source as saying that one soldier was killed, Abdel Rahmas Farag, in charge of Port Said hospitals, reaffirmed that three were injured and one of the soldiers is in critical condition.

According to a statement issued by the Egyptian armed forces on its official Facebook page, clashes between protesters and security forces have left one soldier killed, who was shot in the neck by unknown people.

The statement denied any former reports that the soldier was killed during fire exchange between the armed forces and the police, urging residents of Port Said not to approach the governorate’s headquarters or the institutions which the armed forces are securing for the safety of their life.

More than 310 people were injured Sunday in clashes between security forces and protesters over the transfer of prisoners in Egypt’s seaside governorate of Port Said, which entered its third week of general unrest, said the Health Ministry.

The protesters clashed with the police, as the Interior Ministry decided to move 39 prisoners awaiting a verdict over a tragic football riot which killed over 70 in February last year in order to avoid unrest, official news agency MENA said.

About 200 people of the prisoners’ families gathered outside Port Said police department after learning that their relatives would be moved to an unknown prison.

The protesters hurled Molotov cocktails and fireballs at the building and set fire to a police car, while the police responded with teargas to disperse the crowd.

Elsewhere in Egypt, dozens of protesters blocked el-Bahr street at the Shoon Square in Gharbiya’s Mahalla city with burning tires and roadblocks. Protesters also hurled stones at passing cars.

Meanwhile, demonstrators at Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo placed burning tires at its entrances, completely shutting down traffic, while the Interior Ministry ordered all traffic police personnel to leave the square to avert further clashes, official news agency MENA said.

Earlier on Sunday, protests were held by a group of Cairo-based football fans on Salah Salem road leading to Cairo International Airport, hindering U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry from catching his plane on time. The Utras protests blocked the road completely after some of the protesters set fire to car tires, making passengers leave cars and hurry on foot to catch their flights.

For his part, Abdel Fatah Osman, a senior official of the interior ministry, said “political solution no longer works with political congestion in the street.”

Articles by: Xinhua

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