Clashes in Egypt rage into 4th day
CAIROProtesters and riot police fought pitched battles in Cairo yesterday as clashes sparked by the perceived failure of Egypt’s military rulers to prevent deadly football-linked violence raged into a fourth day.
Hundreds of riot police blocked off roads leading to the interior ministry headquarters in the center of the capital, firing tear gas to keep dozens of rock throwing protesters at bay. Police erected a concrete block wall on Mansur street, which has become the nerve center of the deadly clashes, while entrenching themselves behind coils of barbed wire on other roads. Meanwhile, Egypt’s military faced pressure Feb. 4 to speed up its transfer of power to civilians, as top public figures demanded a faster transition.
A civilian council set up to advise the generals recommended they bring forward preparations for presidential elections after a week in which the deaths of 74 people in a soccer stadium disaster heaped more criticism on the generals. The deaths in Port Said triggered anti-government protests in which a further 12 people have been killed, making it one of Egypt’s bloodiest weeks since an uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power a year ago.