Hundreds of Egyptian demonstrators clashed with security forces in the seaport city of Suez on Saturday night in a second evening of protests against the regime of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for the first time since the start of the 2011 Arab Spring this past Friday to call for the resignation of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, whose regime began in 2014. Demonstrations also took place in Alexandria, Suez, and the town of Mahallah el Kubra, north of Cairo; 74 arrests were made, according to AFP.
On Saturday night, security forces barricaded the streets and deployed armored vehicles in downtown Suez, firing tear gas and in some cases, bullets, AFP reported.
At least 220 arrests were made since Friday night, according to the UK-based The Guardian newspaper, which cited detentions after protests in Suez, Alexandria and Giza as well as Cairo.
A spokesperson for the Cairo-based Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms told reporters, “I think the riot police and the ministry of the interior didn’t expect this size of protests.”
Egypt’s State Information Service released a statement to Cairo-based international journalists on Saturday evening, reminding them to “abide by internationally recognized professional standards” in covering the protests.
El-Sisi is on his way to New York to attend the annual United Nations General Assembly, where he is expected to speak on fighting terrorism and maintaining peace in the region.