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Deadly Riots in Egypt in Worst Crisis since Morsi’s Election

The army finally overtook the Port Said prison, the banks and the courts, to prevent their falling into the hands of rioters.
Clashes erupted Saturday outside the Interior Ministry in downtown Cairo.

Clashes erupted Saturday outside the Interior Ministry in downtown Cairo.
Photo Credit: Virginie Nguyen

At least 30 people were killed and 312 were wounded in Egypt on Saturday, after 21 Port Said soccer fans were sentenced to death over a violent stadium riot last year.

The violence came one day after protest rallies against President Mohamed Morsi on the second anniversary of Egypt’s uprising against predecessor Hosni Mubarak, in which nine were killed.

This is the worst crisis Morsi has faced since his election.

Just minutes after the sentencing in Cairo of the soccer fans, blamed for the deaths of 74 people during post-match clashes last February, protesters rampaged through the city, attacking police stations and burning tires.

Relatives of the condemned fought security forces in an attempt to storm the Port Said prison where they are being held. The attackers used automatic weapons. Police responded with tear gas.

(In Cairo, on the other hand, there were cries of joy at the verdict, as women ululated and relatives of the February victims hugged each other and shouted “Allahu Akbar.”)

Crowds of protesters stormed two Port Said police stations exchanging heavy gunfire with the cops. Ambulances were running all day long, rushing the injured to hospitals. Local mosques asked worshippers to donate blood.

The army finally overtook the Port Said prison, the banks and the courts, to prevent their falling into the hands of rioters.

Armed Forces spokesperson Ahmed Ali said that troops from the Second Field Army are controlling all the main areas around Port Said’s main prison, where the defendants from the Port Said trial are being held.

Clashes also broke out in Suez, on the canal where eight people were killed on Friday.

Protesters tried to storm the main Suez police station, but were stopped by police with tear gas.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s opposition parties are planning to boycott the upcoming parliamentary vote, unless Morsi manages to calm the violence.

The National Salvation Front, comprised of parties opposing the Islamist president, are demanding a “national salvation” government, otherwise it would boycott the elections.

Saturday’s violence came after a day of clashes that marked the revolution’s second anniversary—at least nine people were killed and 530 injured.

Tens of thousands on Friday protested against Morsi, accusing him of failing the revolution and being nothing but an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Early on Saturday, Morsi Twitted an appeal for calm that asked “citizens to adhere to the values of the revolution, express opinions freely and peacefully and renounce violence.”

Protesters in the canal city of Ismailiya stormed government buildings on Friday, and burned down the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters.

The Muslim Brotherhood accused opposition groups of “spreading sabotage.”

In a statement Saturday, the Brotherhood said that the opposition’s silence after attacks against its offices and Freedom and Justice Party headquarters amounted to them “gloating over Egypt and Egyptians,” and accused opposition groups of supporting such attacks.

The group also accused the media of misleading the public, “spreading hatred” against the regime and inciting “sabotage.”

In Cairo, police fired tear gas at protesters outside the presidential palace.

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One Response to “Deadly Riots in Egypt in Worst Crisis since Morsi’s Election”

  1. .. I have bowed out of the local interfaith Holocaust service, because it was a custom to include Hatikvah at the end, but now some Christian groups object as they support the Palestinians and the Muslim Imams would either sit or leave during the Hatikvah. Perhaps interfaith Holocaust programs no longer make sense, at least to me. I do not need the stress of seeing disrespect being afforded to Israel and nor do I wish to compromise by leaving Hatikvah out. This is a personal choice and I DO NOT ADVOCATE ANYONE NOT PARTICIPATING IN ANY INTERFAITH HOLOCAUST SERVICE. I INTRODUCED INTERFAITH HOLOCAUST SERVICES IN 1974 AND WAS ONE OF THE FIRST IF NOT THE FIRST TO DO SO. Perhaps it should be called INTERFAITH GENOCIDE SERVICE OR INTERFAITH DAY FOR VICTIMS OF PERSECUTION. IF I was a Palestinian or a Muslim , I WOULD FEEL AS THEY DO. BUT I AM A JEW AND A ZIONIST. This was a difficult decision for me based on personal principle. The interfaith Holocaust memorials started as well intentioned way for the Jewish people and other groups to pause and reflect on man's capacity to perpetuate unbelievable cruelty against his fellow and to commiserate as a group and others, with the Jews and hopefully prevent this nightmare from reoccurring. Over the years it was understandably modified to include other victims of genocidal mass killings, though these mass killings were not really analogous, as the Nazis were obsessed at not just killing Jews as a competing group, but Hitler desired to eliminate our creed and it's pervasive influence on humanity. As a result of extremist Muslim participation and twisted liberalism, this is morphing into a twisted canard where Israel is being blamed for perpetuating ethnic killings against the Palestinians as the Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis. One can understand the Islamo-Nazis belief system with a quote from the Talmud. We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG, CHILD OF Holocaust survivors and a refugee born in a D.P. camp

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