Morsi declares emergency, curfews in Egypt riot-hit areas

January 28, 2013 8:35 am


President Mohamed Morsi declared a state of emergency/FILE
President Mohamed Morsi declared a state of emergency/FILE
CAIRO, Jan 28 – President Mohamed Morsi declared a state of emergency in three provinces hit by rioting which has left dozens dead, warning he was ready to take further steps to confront threats to Egypt’s security.

In an address on state television Sunday evening, Morsi said the emergency measures would come into effect in the provinces of Port Said, Suez and Ismailiya “for 30 days starting at midnight (2200 GMT Sunday)”.

Curfews would be imposed on the same three provinces from 9:00 pm until 6:00 am, he added — and he warned he would take further steps to confront threats to Egypt’s security if need be.

But Morsi also invited opposition politicians for talks Monday in a bid to bridge the growing political gulf in the country.

Morsi acted after a second day of rioting rocked Port Said Sunday, sparked by death sentences handed down by a court on Saturday against some of those convicted over deadly football riots last year.

Sunday’s violence left another six people dead and more than 460 injured, according to medics.

Crowds attempted to storm three police stations in the Suez Canal city, while others looted and torched an army social club, security officials said.

The latest casualties, among them a teenager shot in the chest, added to the toll of 31 people including two anti-riot police killed in the city on Saturday.

Unrest also erupted on Sunday in Suez, another canal city, where protesters surrounded a police station, lobbed Molotov cocktails at security forces and blocked the road leading to the capital, security officials said.

In Cairo, police clashed with protesters who accuse Morsi of betraying the goals of the revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak two years ago, highlighting deep political divisions in the country now ruled by Islamists.

Clashes near Tahrir Square — symbolic heart of the 2011 uprising that toppled Mubarak — continued sporadically during the day and into Sunday evening, witnesses said.

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