Calm sets around interior ministry after renewed clashes Saturday morning

Ahram Online, Nada Hussein Rashwan, Saturday 4 Feb 2012

Two-day old violence is brought to unpredictable halt around the ministry of interior where deadly clashes have been ongoing between protesters angry over Port Said massacre and police forces who are blamed for it

Latest clashes between protesters and police forces near interior ministry. (Photo: Reuters)

Upon press time, situation around the Ministry of Interior (MOI) has been characterised for several hours by temporary calm as police has refrained from firing tear-gas and rubber pellets at protesters.

Nubar and Mansour streets in the perimeter of the ministry, where clashes mostly occurred over the past two nights, have been blocked with ropes and human shields by some protesters to bring truce.

hundreds of protesters are more concentrated around the outskirts of the streets that surround the MOI.

Clashes were renewed Saturday morning in Nubar Street after being brought to a few-hours halt Friday night. Protesters hurled rocks towards the line of police forces in front of the ministry gates, as the latter responded by volleying a round of tear-gas.

Several attempts to bring truce over the course of the clashes have failed as the firing of tear-gas and rubber pellets continued by the police around the ministry.

According to the Egyptian ministry of health, the death toll in clashes that broke out since Thursday between thousands of protesters in a number of Egyptian cities, angry over the Port Said massacre on Wednesday, and police forces has risen to 12 by midday Saturday.

Five protesters were killed in Cairo, and seven in Suez.

73 football fans, mostly supporters of Ahly Ultras, were killed on Wednesday night after rival Masry fans stormed the pitch at the end of an Egyptian league game between Cairo's Ahly and Port Said's Masry.

The game witnessed tensions from the starting minute and lacklustre security presence according to many eyewitnesses.

Protesters are blaming the police for the deaths of Ultras fans, who have played a key role in the Egyptian revolution since 25 January, 2011, and many have been demanding the ruling military council step down.

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