28 January 2013, 00:19

Morsi declares state of emergency in Egypt

Morsi declares state of emergency in Egypt

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi announced on Sunday he was imposing a state of emergency for 30 days in three cities along the Suez Canal that have been the scene of the worst violence that flared at the weekend.

Morsi made the announcement in a televised address in which he said a curfew would also be introduced in Port Said, Ismailia and Suez starting Monday from 9 p.m. (1900 GMT) to 6 a.m. (0400 GMT).

He also called for dialogue with top politicians.

The riots started on Friday, when a court passed the death sentence on 21 football fans, recognized as instigators of the mass clashes that occurred a year ago, on February 1, after a football match between a local team and one from the capital. At the time, 74 people were killed.

On Saturday, over 30 people fell victim to clashes between demonstrators and police in Port Said. On Sunday, after their funeral, the confrontation continued, killing four others and wounding more than 400.

Voice of Russia, Reuters, RIA

4 dead, more than 400 injured in clashes in Egyptian city of Port Said

Clashes in Egypt's Port Said left four people including a teenager dead on Sunday, the head of the canal city's hospitals told reporters. Another 433 people were injured as rioting sparked by death sentences handed to supporters of a local football team rocked Port Said for second straight day.

The 18-year-old victim was killed by a gunshot wound in the chest, Abdel Rahman Farag, the Mediterranean port's head of hospitals told reporters. More than 416 people suffered from teargas inhalation, while 17 sustained gunshot wounds, he said.

Thousands of people turned out for the funerals of 35 rioters who were killed in Port Said in recent days. The mourners shouted,"There is no God but Allah, and Morsi is God's enemy" after praying for the dead at the city's Mariam Mosque. Teargas was fired in the vicinity and gunfire was heard nearby. Emergency vehicle sirens were also heard, a witness told Reuters.

Thousands of demonstrators also gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday. Protesters threw petrol bombs at riot police who responded by firing teargas.

Rallies have been taking place in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and half a dozen other places, many of which have become violent. Protesters have taken to the streets in greater numbers following Saturday’s death sentence verdicts over a stadium stampede last February.

Clashes erupt at Port Said funerals

Reports say at least a hundred people have been hurt, including four with bullets, after police clashed with thousands of mourners who turned out for the funerals of more than 30 victims of yesterday’s violence in Port Said in Egypt.

Saturday’s riots erupted after a Cairo court handed down death sentences to 21 Port Said football supporters on charges of instigating last year’s clashes at a football match.

The battle between rival supporters on February 1 2012 claimed 74 lives.

Voice of Russia, AFP, Reuters, RT, TASS


State of emergency may be imposed in Egypt

Andrei Fedyashin, Andrei Lyakhov

The situation in Egypt remains tense as the country’s opposition continues to hold protest rallies against the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime. Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi canceled his planned visit to Ethiopia, where he was due to take part the African Union’s summit scheduled for January 27. Also, he recalled Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil from the Swiss city of Davos, where he participated in the World Economic Forum.

Additionally, Morsi held an emergency meeting of the National Defense Council which announced the country’s right to impose a state of emergency in those districts that were hit by armed clashes. On Saturday night, unrest was reported in Cairo, Suez, Alexandria and Port Said, where dozens of people were killed and hundreds more injured. The Muslim Brotherhood warned that the army and police would be allowed to open fire on protesters if their actions posed a threat to strategically important infrastructure facilities.

Mass riots and armed clashes began in Egypt during celebrations of the second anniversary of the ‘January 25 Revolution.’ In 2011, it led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Like in 2011, Cairo’s Tahrir Square became Egypt’s current main protest center.

Protesters are demanding the return of the Egyptian Revolution, ‘stolen’ by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Russian experts warn of tougher times ahead for Mohammed Morsi, a stance that is echoed by prominent Oriental expert Leonid Isayev. He says that Egypt is on the verge of an economic collapse.

"Egypt may soon turn into a debtor country because Cairo has repeatedly got loans from various international organizations and other countries, Isayev says. Not to mention that Egypt has lost its international and regional clout, something that was not the case with previous years, when the country expanded its political footprint in the Middle East and Northern Africa. It is safe to assume therefore that Egypt is losing its clout in all directions."

The standoff between Morsi supporters and the opposition shows no signs of abating as Egypt’s National Salvation Front has demanded the creation of a national salvation government. Morsi, for his part, made it plain that he will only sit down for talks with Egypt’s independent politicians.

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