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Anger Continues To Grip Cairo

posted 28 Jan 2013, 06:15 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 28 Jan 2013, 06:16 ]

Clashes between protesters and security forces enters fifth day with reports of one bystander shot dead in Cairo.

 CAIROEGYPT (JANUARY 28, 2013) (REUTERS) -  There was more violence on the streets of Cairo on Monday (January 28) as police fired volleys of teargas at dozens of youths hurling stones near Tahrir Square.

It is the fifth day of violence in Egypt as people protest against President Mohamed Mursi who they say has betrayed the revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak two years ago.

A security source at the Interior Ministry said on Monday that a bystander was shot dead in Cairo. The source said the bystander was on the edge of Tahrir Square when he was hit by gunshot.

Late on Sunday Mursi declared a month-long state of emergency in three cities on theSuez Canal, where dozens of people have been killed in protests

that have swept the nation and deepened a political crisis facing the Islamist leader.

Egypt's politics have become deeply polarised since those heady days two years ago, when protesters were making most of the running in the Arab Spring revolutions that sent shockwaves through the region.

Although Islamists have won parliamentary and presidential elections, the disparate opposition has since united against Mursi. Late last year he moved to expand his powers and push a constitution with Islamist leanings through a referendum punctuated by violent street protests.

Mursi's opponents accuse him of hijacking the revolution, listening only to his Islamist allies and breaking a promise to be a president for all Egyptians. They say too many hold-outs from the Mubarak era remain in their posts.

Islamists say their rivals want to overthrow by undemocratic means Egypt's first freely elected leader.

Voices in the street reflected this split.

Samir El Beialy said Mursi was right to impose a state of emergency whilst Ragab Ibrahim said he was doing the same as his predecessor, toppled by the revolution.

"It was a situation that required to be firm otherwise huge chaos would have broken out in Suez and Port Said; and this is very dangerous for us because we know the Suez Canal is nearby and this is a very active lifeline for the whole world, and everyone looks at this place in particular; the whole world, EuropeAmerica and Asia, look at it strategically, therefore there had to be protection [declaration of state of emergency] in this situation," said Samir El Beialy

"Mohamed Mursi came out on us after the meeting of the Guidance Office led by the Supreme Guide Mohamed Badei. Thus, the words that were said by

Mohamed Badei and company were said by the tongue of Mohamed Mursi; and instead of condemning the bloodshed, he imposed what they [Muslim

Brotherhood] once feared, and what the revolution happened because of; which is the imposition of the state of emergency," he said.

Some opposition groups called for the Monday protests to mark the second anniversary of one of the bloodiest days in the revolution that erupted on Jan. 25, 2011, and ended Mubarak's iron rule 18 days later.