4th Day of Violence Erupts in Egypt

Posted February 5th, 2012 at 3:50 am (UTC-5)
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Protesters and police in Egypt clashed Sunday for a fourth straight day in Cairo. Security personnel were trying to keep protesters away from government buildings in the capital.

The protesters are calling for the ruling military council to surrender power to a civilian government.

Officials say at least 12 people have died and 2,500 others have been wounded since violence broke out Thursday.

The violence was sparked by anger at the failure of Egyptian security forces to prevent a melee and stampede after a football match Wednesday in the city of Port Said that killed 74 people.

On Saturday, police in Cairo fired tear gas and birdshot at demonstrators, who were chanting, yelling and throwing stones near the heavily guarded Interior Ministry building. Across the street, the Tax Ministry building was in flames. Ambulances and volunteers carried the wounded away from the fighting through streets littered with debris.

On Friday, the sound of gunfire, tear gas cannisters and rocks smashing against police shields filled the air in and around Cairo's historic Tahrir Square following evening prayers.

Thousands of Egyptians also took to the streets in Alexandria and the port city of Suez.

Police have arrested 47 suspects for the football match mayhem. The military council's Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi declared three days of national mourning and vowed to find those responsible.

Egypt's military-appointed prime minister also said the government has fired the board of Egypt's football federation and suspended Port Said's governor and security chiefs.

Lawmakers in Egypt's newly empowered parliament blamed police inaction for the tragedy and voted to conduct an investigation.