Egypt protesters torch buildings, target Suez Canal

by
March 10, 2013

PORT SAID, Egypt/CAIRO | Egyptian protesters torched buildings in Cairo and tried unsuccessfully to disrupt international shipping on the Suez Canal, as a court ruling on a deadly soccer riot stoked rage in a country beset by worsening security.

The ruling enraged residents of Port Said, at the northern entrance of the Suez Canal, by confirming the death sentences imposed on 21 local soccer fans for their role in the riot last year, when more than 70 people were killed.

But the court also angered rival fans in Cairo by acquitting a further 28 defendants whom they wanted punished, including seven members of the police force, reviled across society for its brutality under deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Security sources said two people, a man in his 30s and a young boy, had died in Cairo from the effects of tear gas and rubber bullets. A total of 65 people were injured.

Saturday’s protests and violence underlined how Islamist President Mohamed Mursi is struggling – two years after Mubarak’s overthrow – to maintain law and order at a time of economic and political crisis.

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