- Middle East/North Africa
Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Ismailia, Port Said and Suez Governorates after 9 pm Monday, in a direct challenge to President Mohamed Morsy's decision to impose a curfew there.
Morsy had imposed the 9 pm to 6 am curfew and declared a state of emergency in the three governorates after clashes killed at least 50 people, mainly in Port Said.
About 3,000 protesters marched from Arbeen Square to Geish Street in Suez demanding that Morsy rescind the curfew. Satellite TV channel ONtv showed photos of protesters raising the flags of Egypt and Suez while chanting slogans against Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood, saying they would continue protesting until the downfall of Morsy's regime.
Major General Osama Askar, commander of the second field army, said that the curfew was not imposed by the Armed Forces but was a demand from the citizens of Suez themselves.
"A curfew is not our purpose," he said, adding that the people of Suez were the ones demanding that political leaders arrest criminals.
In Ismailia, ultras organized a football match during the early hours of the curfew in al-Mamar Square.