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22:10, 26 June 2017 Monday
11:16, 04 March 2013 Monday

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Port Said clashes kill 5 Egyptians
Port Said clashes kill 5 Egyptians

Police used tear gas to disperse a crowd that had gathered in front of a local government office.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Two members of Egypt's security forces and three civilians were killed on Sunday and hundreds injured when shooting broke out during clashes between protesters and police in the Suez Canal city of Port Said, security and medical sources said on Monday.

The violence erupted as hundreds of people demonstrated after authorities decided to move prisoners awaiting a verdict over alleged involvement in a deadly football riot last year.

Police used tear gas to disperse a crowd that had gathered in front of a local government office. The Health Ministry said in a statement on Monday that 404 people had been injured.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that two of its personnel had died of bullet wounds to the neck and head.

A security official said earlier that protesters threw petrol bombs and stones at the police station in Port Said, where a general strike entered its third week.

The interior ministry said it decided to move prisoners from Port Said, starting with the 39 remaining defendants over the February 2012 football violence, because it wanted to avoid unrest.

The court verdict, expected next Saturday, is for the 39 defendants in a case which resulted in death sentences in January for 21 other defendants, sparking clashes that killed at least 40 people.

Last year's football riot killed 74 people, mostly supporters of a visiting Cairo team.



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Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland
Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland

Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades said Monday he hopes to clinch a reunification deal laying out a new security blueprint for the divided island during a crunch summit in Switzerland this week. Anastasiades will attend United Nations-backed talks at the Alpine Crans-Montana ski resort Wednesday with "complete determination and goodwill... to achieve a desired solution", he said in a statement. He said he hopes to "abolish the anachronistic system of guarantees and intervention rights", with a deal providing for the withdrawal of the Turkish army. The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded its northern third in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece. Turkey maintains around 35,000 troops in northern Cyprus. The so-called guarantor powers of Turkey, Britain and Greece retain the right to intervene militarily on the island. Greek and Turkish Cypriots are at odds over a new security blueprint, but their leaders are under pressure to reach an elusive peace deal. "I am going to Switzerland to participate in the Cyprus conference, with the sole aim and intent of solving the Cyprus problem," Anastasiades said. Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is also set to attend the summit, which is expected to last at least 10 days. Greece, Turkey and Britain will send envoys along with an observer from the European Union. UN-led talks on the island hit a wall in late May after the sides failed to agree terms to advance toward a final summit. Unlocking the security question would allow Anastasiades and Akinci to make unprecedented concessions on core issues. But they have major differences on what a new security blueprint should look like. Anastasiades's internationally recognised government, backed by Athens, seeks an agreement to abolish intervention rights, with Turkish troops withdrawing from the island on a specific timeline. Turkish Cypriots and Ankara argue for some form of intervention rights and a reduced number of troops remaining in the north. Turkish Cypriots want the conference to focus on broader issues of power-sharing, property rights and territory for the creation of a new federation. Much of the progress to date has been based on strong personal rapport between Anastasiades and Akinci, leader of the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. But that goodwill has appeared frayed in the build-up to their meeting in Switzerland. The Greek Cypriot presidential election next February has also complicated the landscape, as has the government's search for offshore oil and gas, which Ankara argues should be suspended until the negotiations have reached an outcome.