Egypt Independent

Wednesday’s papers: CSF strikes and Port Said burns

Independent newspaper Al-Shorouk led this morning with, "The army is ready, the CSF rebels and violence continues.” The newspaper reports that the last 24 hours have witnessed a rising wave of violence in Port Said, Mansoura and Cairo’s Tahrir Square. A source stated that the city of Port Said would come under Armed Forces control after protesters laid siege to the security directorate and the NSA building; these reports were later denied.

The paper also reports a coalition of CSF personnel and trustees as saying that CSF forces in Mansoura, Assiut, Minya and the eastern Delta region refused to break up clashes, while a source from President Mohamed Morsy’s office denied any order to withdraw police from Port Said, saying instead that the Armed Forces would cooperate with the Interior Ministry. At the same time, clashes erupted in Tahrir Square yesterday after police tear gassed protesters during the funeral of Mohamed al-Shafie, while thousands in Daqahlia Governorate mourned Ibrahim Abdel Azim al-Ashry, a soldier who was killed during the Port Said clashes.

“Three years in prison for the eye sniper,” writes Al-Shorouk. The paper says that the Cairo Criminal Court found Mahmoud Sobhy al-Shennawy, a police officer, guilty of deliberately trying to kill protesters and shoot them in the eyes during the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes in November 2011 and sentenced him to three years in prison. According to the newspaper, Shennawy was not in the defendant cage, a colleague of his standing in his place. Several of those injured during the clashes attended the hearing, some chanting “an eye for an eye.”

State-run Al-Ahram writes that “Protests include police and CSF building being burned to ashes in Port Said.” The paper states that six were arrested for attacking police near the US Embassy in Cairo as well, as protesters threw stones and Molotovs at police.

Meanwhile, Al-Ahram also reports that dozens of police officers gathered in front of the police mosque in Darassa to protest the death of their Mahmoud Ahmed Abul Ezz Nassef, who was shot during his inspection of a car he suspected was tied to a bank heist. At the same time, CSF officers in the eastern Delta started a sit-in and refused to continue working in an unsafe environment, saying the Interior Ministry was sacrificing their lives to calm public opinion. The officers demanded Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim’s resignation. In Belbeis, Sharqiya Governorate, protesters besieged the city council building and prevented council head Abdel Rahman Ramadan al-Deeba from entering.

The FJP’s mouthpiece, Freedom and Justice, writes “Officer Mahmoud Abul Ezz Nassef died yesterday during an attack on al-Ahly Bank in Masr al-Qadima.” The Masr al-Qadima police station reportedly received a notification that masked men were attempting to break into the bank, and that Nassef was shot dead by two suspects in a Suzuki van as he approached it in his car. The Muslim Brotherhood mouthpiece adds that efforts are underway to find the killers and the murder weapon.

On a different note, the paper reports that the Interior Ministry has ordered all defendants in the Port Said football massacre trial to return to Port Said prison ahead of the hearing on Saturday, 9 March, when a verdict is expected. The ministry reportedly called upon residents to maintain security within the city.

Egypt’s papers:

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Watan: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Youm7: Daily, privately owned

Al-Tahrir: Daily, privately owned

Al-Sabah: Daily, privately owned

Freedom and Justice: Daily, published by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party

Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Nasserist Party

Al-Nour: Official paper of the Salafi Nour Party