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Angry protesters set fire to police station in Port Said

After alleged series of deadly use of force by police in pivotal canal city of Port Said, protesters set fire to major police station

Ahram Online, Saturday 2 Mar 2013
Port Said
(Photo: Reuters)
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Fresh clashes break out in Port Said as dozens of protesters set fire to a major police station, angered by the police's excessive use of force throughout the day.

Journalist Mohamed El-Ghazzawi who witnessed the events recounts: a police patrol vehicle was exiting the police station, where around 200 members of the Ultras Green Eagles and some Port Said residents were protesting nearby.

Unaware there was a protest on the street, the driver tried to get around the crowd but protesters insisted he take a particular route to exit the street. The driver, afraid it was a trap, refused, and instead drove through the crowd, injuring five protesters. Officers inside the vehicle shot into the air to clear the way for the vehicle.

One of the injured protesters sustained a pelvic fracture from the impact, while the other four protesters had cuts and bruises.

After the injured were taken to the hospital, indignant protesters headed towards the city's main police station, close to the street where they were demonstrating to decry the incident. Police allegedly fired on the demonstrators inside the station, prompting the already-angry crowd to set fire to the premises.

The Port Said security director told an Port Said Al-Ahram Arabic news site journalist that protesters attacked the police vehicle and as the driver was attempting to escape he ran the people over, adding that he crashed into a car on his way.

The city of Port Said has seen intermittent deadly clashes with security forces since 26 January when a Cairo court sentenced 21 of its residents to death in the trial of Egypt's worst-ever football violence that took place in Port Said in February 2012, where at least 74 Ahly football fans were killed.

Schools in Port Said remain closed and factories are working at half capacity as the city has seen calls for civil disobedience for two weeks.

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