Egypt's capital sees 3 anti-govt protests, limited clashes
Ahram Online, Tuesday 5 Mar 2013
Three independent protests – accompanied by limited clashes – erupt in Cairo on Tuesday evening as Ultras Ahlawy brace for contentious court ruling on last year's Port Said stadium disaster

Cairo on Tuesday saw renewed clashes between anti-government protesters, including members of the Ultras Ahlawy (hardcore fans of Cairo football club Ahly), and police.

Hundreds of Ultras members besieged the Cairo residences of both the current and former interior ministers in the districts of Madinet Nasr and Dokki respectively.

The twin protests came in advance of a contentious court ruling expected on Saturday in the ongoing trial of those charged with involvement in the February 2012 Port Said stadium disaster, in which over 70 Ahly fans were killed.

By about 9pm, Ultras members had withdrawn from in front of Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim’s private residence in Cairo’s Madinet Nasr district following limited skirmishes with police.

In the Dokki district, meanwhile, Ultras members destroyed the entrance of the private residence of a former interior minister (also named Mohamed Ibrahim), who they consider responsible for the stadium tragedy.

Protesters shot fireworks at the building, while police fired into the air in an attempt to disperse the angry crowds.

And in downtown Cairo, dozens of protesters gathered near the US embassy on the Nile Corniche off Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where they clashed with police on Tuesday evening.

At around the same time, members of the 6 April youth group led multiple marches – each of them hundreds strong – to the headquarters of Egypt’s National Security Agency in Madinet Nasr to demand retribution for protesters slain in recent clashes with police.

Marchers shouted chants against President Mohamed Morsi, whose administration they accuse of dragging its feet on launching investigations into recent political violence.

Last November, 16-year-old 6 April member Gaber 'Jika' Salah was killed during clashes with police. The youth group has since organised several demonstrations to demand justice for Jika and other demonstrators killed in the latest spate of deadly clashes.

Egypt has witnessed an upswing of anti-government protests and political violence since the second anniversary of the 25 January Tahrir Square uprising that unseated former president Hosni Mubarak.