At least two people have been killed and over 400 injured in clashes in Port Said. Egypt’s army reportedly moved in to stop clashes between protesters and police, sparked by the transfer of prisoners accused of last year’s stadium massacre.
At least two people have been killed in clashes in front of the police station in Port Said. Twenty-one-year-old Ibrahim Abdel Aziz who died of a gun wound on Sunday night was a civilian, according to the health ministry.
One army service member was shot dead by an unknown assailant, army spokesperson Colonel Ahmed Ali said in a statement.
According to latest figures from Egypt’s health ministry, at least 404 people suffered injuries during unrest on Sunday.
The crowd reportedly attacked the police station at the Suez Canal city with Molotov cocktails and stones. Law enforcements responded with tear gas and birdshot. Army troops were deployed to contain the violence.
Colonel Ali denied reports of clashes between the army and police, saying that army units were deployed in an attempt to stop the violence. “It is completely untrue that armed forces units in Port Said exchanged fired with police forces during the clashes,” Ali wrote.
Most of those injured suffered teargas inhalation while over 30 people were wounded with birdshot and shrapnel, Ahram online cites Helmy El-Hanafy, a health ministry undersecretary in Port Said.
The fresh wave of violence was sparked by the interior ministry’s decision to transfer the remaining 39 prisoners charged with igniting last year’s deadly stadium clashes in which over 70 football fans were killed to another prison.
Authorities said they were moving the prisoners to ensure security and stability in the city, after this January’s verdicts on the first batch of defendants sparked unprecedented violent protests among the relatives of the accused.
In January, 21 of 73 defendants in the stadium massacre case were sentenced to death. Since then at least 40 people have died in clashes in Port Said.
For several weeks, thousands of people in Port Said have been conducting a general protest demanding justice over the latest deaths and a thorough investigation of last year’s events.