Egypt clashes claim four lives, as anti-military protests surge
Four people died Friday in clashes with security forces in Egypt as protesters rallied in several areas of the country against the police and the military junta blaming them for the country's deadliest football riot, the Health Ministry said, dpa reported.
The latest death was a civilian who died from injuries sustained during clashes between the angry protesters and security forces near the headquarters of the Interior Ministry, reported state television, citing health officials.
Ambulances, meanwhile, whizzed across the nearby Tahrir Square to carry protesters injuried in the violence.
The Health Ministry estimated that more than 1,400 people have been injured in two days, most suffering from the effects of the heavy use of tear gas by the security forces.
Fire trucks were seen Friday rushing to put out a fire that hit a tax building in front of the Interior Ministry building. No casualties or damage was immediately reported.
Clashes have been sporadic in central Cairo since Thursday as protesters joined angry football fans following the death of 74 people at a football match in the northern city of Port Said the day before.
One army soldier was killed early Friday while on duty near the Interior Ministry headquarters, according to security sources.
Two civilians were killed in clashes between anti-government demonstrators and security forces in Suez City, located 140 kilometres east of Cairo.
The city's security chief accused "outlaws" of being behind the two deaths.
Egypt's chief prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud Friday ordered travel bans on the former Port Said governor and three senior policemen suspended from duty in connection with the football deaths, state television reported.
They will be questioned by police over responsibility for the tragedy, the report added.
Protesters on Friday took to the streets in Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt's second biggest city, calling on the country's junta to hold an early presidential election to expedite the transfer of power to a civilian administration.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has said the presidential polls will be held by mid-June.
But several political groups remain suspicious and accuse the country's military council of being responsible for Wednesday's riot, allegedly to use it as an excuse to prolong their stay in power.