Protesters killed as Egyptians vent rage at military

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Egyptian protesters carry a fellow demonstrator suffering from tear gas inhalation during clashes with security forces near the interior ministry in downtown Cairo on 3 February 2012. (Photo: AFP - Mahmoud Hams)

Published Friday, February 3, 2012

Updated 6.38pm: Two protesters died in Cairo on Friday as angry demonstrators attempted to reach Egypt's interior ministry in a second day of protests triggered by the deaths of 74 people in the country's worst soccer disaster.

The two protesters died of tear gas inhalation after being rushed to hospital unconscious from outside the interior ministry, medics said.

Thick clouds of tear gas blanketed the road to the ministry, where a makeshift barricade separated police and protesters after overnight clashes left hundreds injured, an AFP reporter said.

The ministry said the injury toll since Thursday had reached 1,482, and one pro-democracy group, the Coalition of Maspero Youth, said one of its members had lost an eye during the clashes.

A soldier injured outside the ministry building on Thursday died in hospital on Friday, the state MENA news agency reported.

Another person died in Cairo from a shotgun pellet wound and two were killed in the city of Suez as police used live rounds to hold back crowds trying to break into a police station, witnesses and the ambulance authority said.

Egyptian activists called for mass protests across the country on Friday to demand the ouster of the ruling military council, target of raging anger over the soccer deaths.

Demonstrators were set to stage marches from mosques across Cairo after noon prayers towards parliament, 28 pro-democracy groups said in a statement on the Internet.

Mohammad Hamama, an activist from Mansoura in northern Egypt, told Al-Akhbar that there were thousands of people protesting across the country.

He had received reports of police brutality in many cities including Cairo, where activists had told him several separate protests were planned.

“Right now in Tahrir Square there are tens of thousands of protesters who spend their Friday prayers there. There are five or six different protests planned from different mosques,” he said.

Friday's protests come after more than 600 were injured when thousands protested in Cairo on Thursday.

Protesters clashed with police as they tried to reach the interior ministry, which they say is responsible for the football violence.

Elsewhere, two American women and their Egyptian tour guide, who were captured by armed Bedouins in the Sinai peninsula on Friday, have been released unharmed after several hours, security officials said.

It is believed the two American women kidnapped in the Sinai Peninsula were on vacation.

The incident comes just days after Bedouins in north Sinai briefly seized 25 Chinese workers employed by a military owned cement factory.

The gunmen demanded the release of Islamist relatives detained over bombings in the peninsula between 2004 and 2006.

(Al Akhbar, Reuters, AFP)


Why are you equating what is happening in Tahrir and Ministry of Interior to what happened in the Sinai? Irresponsible reporting.

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