World Bulletin/News Desk
Egyptian protesters scuffled with police in Cairo on Saturday and troops were deployed in Suez after nine people were shot dead in nationwide protests.
Eight people including a policeman were shot dead in Suez, east of the capital, and another was shot and killed in Ismailia, another city on the Suez Canal, medics said, after a day when police fired tear gas at stone-throwing youths.
Another 456 people were injured across Egypt, officials said, in Friday's unrest fuelled by anger at Mursi and his Islamist allies over what the protesters see as their betrayal of the revolution that erupted on Jan. 25, 2011.
"We want to change the president and the government. We are tired of this regime. Nothing has changed," said Mahmoud Suleiman, 22, in Cairo's Tahrir Square, near where youths were still hurling stones at police on the other side of a concrete barrier early on Saturday morning.
Protesters accuse Mursi and his allies of hijacking Egypt's revolution that ended 30 years of Mubarak's autocratic rule. Mursi's supporters say their critics are ignoring democratic principles after elections swept Islamists to office.
"The protests will continue until we realise all the demands of the revolution - bread, freedom and social justice," Ahmed Salama, 28, a protester camped out with dozens of others in Tahrir Square, the cauldron of the 2011 revolt.
The court hearing over the Port Said stadium disaster in February last year has fuelled concerns of more unrest.
Court sentences 21 to death for stadium disaster
An Egyptian court sentenced to death on Saturday 21 people accused of involvement in the Port Said soccer stadium disaster in which 74 people were killed last year, the judge said.
The judge read out a list of 21 names who had been "referred to the Mufti", a phrase used to denote a death verdict as all such sentences must reviewed by the Egypt's top religious authority.
The court was ruling in the case of 73 people charged with involvement in the Feb. 1, 2012 disaster. The verdicts for others in the case will be announced in March 9.
In a statement in response to Friday's violence, Mursi said the state would not hesitate in "pursuing the criminals and delivering them to justice". He urged Egyptians to respect the principles of the revolution by expressing views peacefully.
The president was due to meet later on Saturday with the National Defence Council, which includes senior ministers and security officials, to discuss the violence and deaths as a result of the protests.
Troops were deployed in Suez after the head of the state security police in the city asked for reinforcements. The army distributed pamphlets to residents assuring them the deployment was temporary and meant to secure the city.
"We have asked the armed forces to send reinforcements on the ground until we pass this difficult period," Adel Refaat, head of state security in Suez, told state television.
Street battles erupted in cities including Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and Port Said. Arsonists attacked at least two state-owned buildings. An office used by the Muslim Brotherhood's political party was also torched.
The Brotherhood decided against mobilising for the anniversary, wary of the scope for more conflict after December's violence, stoked by Mursi's decision to fast-track an Islamist-tinged constitution rejected by his opponents.Last Mod: 26 Ocak 2013, 11:24