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Egypt military denies using live bullets in Port Said clashes

Military spokesperson claims no live ammunition was used in clashes that left at least 32 dead in Port Said on Saturday

Ahram Online, Sunday 27 Jan 2013
Views: 1344
Views: 1344

An Egyptian military spokesperson has denied the armed forces used live ammunition against protesters in Port Said on Saturday.

Violence broke out in Port Said on Saturday after a court sentenced 21 people to death for their role in the Port Said Stadium disaster that killed 74 in February 2012.

At least 32 people were killed in clashes in the city, including two police officers, and 300 hundred were injured.

"The armed forces did not use live ammunition against protestors. Its mission in Port Said is centred on securing national strategic sites that affect the lives of citizens," military spokesperson Ahmed Ali said on his official Facebook page.

Ali called on all media outlets to take great care in ensuring the accuracy of the news they report to avoid spreading false reports that might tarnish the image of the armed forces.

He also urged journalists to rely primarily on official statements issued by the military when reporting such news.

Meanwhile, sporadic clashes have continued for a third day in downtown Cairo between protesters and security forces.

Clashes in Mohamed Mahmoud Street in downtown Cairo raged on until the early hours of Sunday.

Security forces continued to use tear gas to disperse protesters who responded with stones, reported Al-Ahram Arabic news website

Dozens suffered from suffocation due to the heavy use of tear gas, and were ferried to a nearby field hospital.

A fire that broke out late Saturday at the Lycee School on Sheikh Rihan Street in downtown Cairo has been contained.

Meanwhile, protesters, including members of the Black Bloc (a group of protesters clothed in black and wearing full face masks) and Ultras Ahlawy (hardcore fans of Ahly football club), fought pitched battles with police on Saturday night near the Tanta Courts Complex in Tanta city, the capital of the Nile Delta governorate of Gharbiya.

Clashes erupted after eleven people arrested during Friday's clashes in Mahala were transferred to the court.

Protesters condemned the interior ministry and the Muslim Brotherhood and demanded the immediate release of those arrested.

The total number of arrests across Egypt is 130 according to a source at the interior ministry.

The total number of deaths reported across Egypt is estimated to be at least 43.

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