euronews inside Port Said after dozens die in riots

27 January 2013

A euronews correspondent in Egypt is in Port Said, a city that has been virtually locked down by the military after 21 death sentences sparked fatal violence there.

At least 32 people died in ferocious protests that broke out after the verdicts, that were connected to a football stadium disaster last year.

Our reporter Mohammed Shaikhibrahim said that. The Egyptian army controls all roads in and out of Port Said, and it is tough to get into what has been declared a military zone.

Gunshots rang out through the night. Protesters were angry that people from their city were being blamed for the deadly stadium disaster in Port Said at a match last February against a visiting team from Cairo.

This latest violence kept medical services busy with a steady stream of wounded.

After avoiding sniper positions and crossing another military checkpoint our correspondent found local residents were shocked at the security forces’ response to the street protests.

“There’s no doubt,” said one, “the shots were fired to kill people. The goal was to eliminate anyone they came across.

Another expressed anger with Cairo. “We don’t want to be part of Egypt anymore,” he said, “we want Port Said to be independent.”

Some of the fiercest clashes took place outside the prison where most of the defendants were being held. One unconfirmed report said they had been transferred by the military after protesters threatened to break in and free them.

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