Egypt’s Mursi de­clares emer­gency af­ter clashes kill dozens

The Kurdish Globe - - REGIONAL -

Egyp­tian Pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Mursi de­clared a month-long state of emer­gency in three cities on the Suez Canal, where dozens of peo­ple have been killed in protests that have swept the na­tion and deep­ened a po­lit­i­cal cri­sis fac­ing the Is­lamist leader.

Hun­dreds of demon­stra­tors in Port Said, Suez and Is­mailia turned out against the de­ci­sion within mo­ments of Mursi's an­nounce­ment late on Sun­day that came af­ter the death toll from protests and vi­o­lence that erupted last week hit 49 peo­ple.

Most deaths were in Port Said, where 40 peo­ple were killed in just two days. Ri­ots were sparked on Satur­day when a court sen­tenced to death sev­eral peo­ple from the city in a case of deadly soc­cer vi­o­lence last year. Mourn­ers at Sun­day's fu­ner­als in the port, where guns are com­mon, turned their rage on Mursi.

The vi­o­lence in Egyp­tian cities has now ex­tended to a fifth day. Po­lice again fired vol­leys of tear­gas at dozens of youths hurl­ing stones early on Sun­day near Cairo's Tahrir Square, where op­po­nents have camped for weeks to protest against Mursi, who they say be­trayed the rev­o­lu­tion that over­threw Hosni Mubarak two years ago.

"We want to bring down the regime and end the state that is run by the Mus­lim Brother­hood," said Ibrahim Eissa, a 26-year-old cook, pro­tect­ing his face from tear­gas waft­ing to­wards him from po­lice lines near Tahrir, the caul­dron of the 2011 re­volt.

Pro­pelled to power in a June elec­tion by the Brother­hood, Mursi's pres­i­dency has lurched through a se­ries of po- lit­i­cal crises and vi­o­lent demon­stra­tions, com­pound­ing his task of shoring up a tee­ter­ing econ­omy and pre­par­ing for a par­lia­men­tary elec­tion to ce­ment the new democ­racy in a few months.

"The pro­tec­tion of the na­tion is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of ev­ery­one. We will con­front any threat to its se­cu­rity with force and firm­ness within the re­mit of the law," Mursi said, of­fer­ing con­do­lences to fam­i­lies of vic­tims in the canal zone cities.

Ap­peal­ing to his op­po­nents, the pres­i­dent called for a na­tional di­a­logue on Mon­day at 6 p.m. (1600 GMT), invit­ing a range of Is­lamist al­lies as well as lib­eral, left­ist and other op­po­si­tion groups and in­di­vid­u­als to dis­cuss the cri­sis.

Pro­test­ers op­pos­ing Egyp­tian Pres­i­dent Mursi are seen through tear gas fired by riot po­lice dur­ing clashes along Qasr Al Nil bridge, which leads to Tahrir Square in Cairo Jan­uary 27, 2013.

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