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Port Said: Funerals and clashes continue in besieged city

Violence in Port Said continues for the third day in a row, as Egyptian army is deployed to restore order in the city

Ahram Online , Monday 28 Jan 2013
Port Said
Tens of thousands send more victims to the grave in port Said on Monday (Photo: Courtesy of Maspero Youth Union)

Clashes between hundreds of protesters and police forces have continued for the third consecutive day in Port Said.

The clashes are currently centered on Al-Arab police station and the surrounding area.

According to eye witnesses there are injured among the protesters, although there is no official confirmation of the numbers of injured as yet. Gunfire and live ammunition have been heard in the area.

Earlier on Monday, thousands of mourners in Port Said joined a mass funeral held for seven civilians who were killed on Sunday when police clashed with thousands of mourners marching in a funeral procession for those slain in the clashes the previous day. 

Over 40 people have been killed as a result of the violence since Saturday.

Monday's funeral was supposed to start in the afternoon but the clashes currently taking place at the nearby Miriam Mosque delayed it for some time.

Unlike Sunday’s mass funeral, the funeral procession was peaceful and was not attacked by police. Mourners chanted against President Morsi, calling for him to leave power.

Major-General Ahmed Wasfy, the commander of Egypt's Second Army (a regional sub-division of Egypt's armed forces) who was assigned to restore order in the city held a press conference on Monday.

"We are not here to wage war against the people. We are the Egyptian army; we are here to serve the people," he said, adding that the curfew imposed by President Mohamed Morsi on Suez, Port Said and Ismailia Sunday is in the best interest of people to restore order.

The commander of the second army accused people from outside Port Said of distributing weapons inside the city to create chaos. He also added that things would calm down in the city over the next three or four days.

The Ultras Green Eagles, the hardcore football fans of Port Said's Masry football club, have called on its members, Masry fans and the people of Port Said to gather at 8pm in order to continue what the group called "retribution" for the "martyrs of Port Said", those who have been killed in the past 48 hours, in a statement on its official Facebook page.

The group called for vengeance against those responsible for the deaths.

Several political groups have already announced that they will organise rallies and protests in Port Said starting from 8pm and 9pm, in defiance of the presidential decree issued on Sunday night which imposed a curfew from 9pm to 6am in the three Suez Canal cities for the next 30 days.

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