Update: Violence erupts in Alexandria, Zagazig protests

Update: Violence erupts in Alexandria, Zagazig protests

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Fri, 29/03/2013 - 18:39

Demonstrations swept the governorates Friday afternoon in protest against the Muslim Brotherhood administration’s crackdown on freedoms and the recent interrogation of opposition activists over vague accusations, a common tactic used against political dissidents under the collapsed regime of former President Hosni Mubarak.

Clashes broke out between opposition protesters and anonomys assailants in Sidi Gaber, Alexandria, early on Friday evening, in a reprisal of clashes that happened in the same area last Friday.

The two sides battled each other with Molotov cocktails and stones. Al-Jazeera Misr Mubasher reported that security forces quickly intervened to quell the clashes, and calm was restored.

Violence also erupted in Zagazig on Friday evening, as dozens of protesters skirmished with Central Security Forces at the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters there. Security forces fired tear gas and hurled stones at the demonstrators.

Protesters had staged a march from the Zagazig City Council to the MB headquarters, where a large number of Brothers were stationed to protect the building.

Hit and run operations took place in surrounding streets between soldiers and MB members. Two protesters were arrested in the course of the violence.

In Suez, a number of activists gathered in Arbaeen Square after Friday prayers to demand the prosecutor general’s resignation, and protest against the widespread restriction of freedoms under President Mohamed Morsy, particularly the recent persecution of high-profile activists.

They chanted slogans and waved banners that accused the Muslim Brotherhood of miring the country in a crisis.

In Kafr al-Sheikh, dozens of Dostour Party and Kefaya Movement members staged a protest outside al-Estad Mosque in Kafr al-Sheikh City, and chanted for the realization of the revolution’s goals.

In Qalyubiya, political and revolutionary movements staged marches after Friday prayers from some mosques in Toukh, Banha, and Shebien al-Qanater, then continued through the city streets.

The demonstrators chanted slogans to condemning the charges levied against activists for inciting the recent violent clashes in Moqattam.

Al-Sayed Abdel Tawab, the coordinator of political forces in Qalyubiya, said the demonstrators are demanding the implementation of the Court of Appeals ruling which cancelled the appointment of Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah, as well as the dissolution of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil’s Cabinet for its administrative failures.

In Alexandria, dozens of opposition activists marched from Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque to the northern military zone after Friday prayers this afternoon.

They raised Egyptian flags and banners that demanded the fall of President Mohamed Morsy’s administration, and early presidential elections.

Similar marches have been staged on Fridays over the last two weeks to demand the intervention of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in politics. Protesters called on the army to oust Morsy and implement political reform.

A number of activists and members of political parties in Sharqiya also staged a march through the city of Zagazig as part of Friday’s nationwide "We are not to be intimidated” demonstrations.

The march began from at Al-Fatah Mosque then continued through the streets of the city. Participants carried banners and chanted slogans, demanding the realization of the objectives of the 25 January revolution, the implementation of the recent ruling that invalidated Morsy’s appointment of Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah last November, and to stop the prosecution of activists.

The march stopped in front of the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party.

Security forces intensified their presence around President Mohamed Morsy’s home in Zagazig, as well as near the city local council and a number of state institutions.

Edited translation from MENA