Egypt: Two shot dead as Egyptian protesters, police clash
Thousands protested in Cairo accusing the ruling military council of mismanaging the country
Two Egyptian protesters were shot dead during clashes with police in the city of Suez, medical sources said, amid anger over the deaths of 74 people in football-related violence.
Thirty people were injured in the clashes that killed the two men, the sources asserted, without saying who fired the fatal shots.
Witnesses said that police had fired tear gas in a bid to disperse hundreds of protesters before resorting to live ammunition.
However a security source said officers had not opened fire on the protesters, adding that hundreds of people who "attacked" the local security headquarters in the northeastern city were themselves armed.
Earlier Thursday thousands had protested in Cairo, accusing the ruling military council, which took power when veteran president Hosni Mubarak was ousted one year ago, of mismanaging the country during a fragile transition.
Black-clad riot police fired tear gas at demonstrators trying to reach the interior ministry. The protesters were furious at the lack of police intervention in Wednesday's violence in the northern city of Port Said.
State television said 628 people were injured during the violence in the capital, mostly from tear gas inhalation.
Calm appeared to have returned to the centre of Cairo overnight, according to images aired on state television. However groups of protesters continued to mingle near the interior ministry and in the emblematic Tahrir Square.
The protests were sparked by Wednesday's deadly violence between fans of Port Said home team Al-Masry and Cairo's Al-Ahly, which marked one of the deadliest incidents in football history.
Those clashes erupted at the final whistle of a match which saw Al-Masry beat Al-Ahly 3-1.
Al-Masry fans invaded the pitch, throwing rocks, bottles and fireworks at Al-Ahly supporters, causing chaos and panic as players and fans fled in all directions, witnesses said.
"They know how to protect a ministry but not a stadium," one angry protester told AFP Thursday.
Thousands of people gathered in the roads leading to the interior ministry in Cairo demanding the ouster of military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, with some calling for his execution.
Every tear gas canister fired sent the crowds running, only to regroup and march again.
"The security services are continuing to maintain the highest restraint following these aggressions," a security source told the Mena news agency.
Injured protesters were ferried away by motorbike as ambulances whizzed through nearby Tahrir Square -- the epicentre of the uprising that toppled Mubarak nearly one year ago -- towards the site of the clashes.
Hundreds of Al-Ahly fans, wearing their team T-shirts and waving flags, were joined by others on the march from their club headquarters to the interior ministry via Tahrir Square.
"This was not a sports accident, this was a military massacre!" the crowds chanted.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the Egyptian government to take "appropriate measures to respond to this tragic incident," his spokesman said.
Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzuri told an emergency session of parliament on the tragedy that the Egyptian football association's director and board had been sacked, as had Port Said's security chief.
Ganzuri added that the Port Said governor had also offered his resignation, and that it had been accepted.
However, furious MPs demanded the sacking of Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, who sat solemnly in the assembly, listening to accusations of negligence.
Al-Ahly's most ardent supporters, the Ultras, were active in the revolt that overthrew Mubarak.
State television ran footage of riot police standing rigidly in rows as pandemonium erupted around them.
The interior minister has said most of the deaths were caused by the crush, but medics said some people were stabbed.
The health ministry said 74 people were killed, including a policeman. Hundreds were reported wounded, and police said 47 people were arrested.
The ruling military announced three days of national mourning.
The post-match clashes -- blamed by the Muslim Brotherhood on Mubarak supporters -- came as Egypt struggles with a wave of incidents related to poor security.
Politicians, fans and players took to social media to express their fury over the clashes, which cap a year of political upheaval and unrest.
"There are dead people lying on the ground! There are dead people in the changing room," Al-Ahly striker Emad Meteab told the team's satellite channel.
"I won't play football any more until these people get justice," he said.
Egypt's hated police, who recently came under fire for heavy-handed tactics, had been given instructions to deal carefully with protesters, sources said.
World football governing body FIFA on Thursday called for a full report on the violence while its president, Sepp Blatter, expressed his shock at a "black day for football."
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) said a minute's silence will be observed at the Africa Cup of Nations this weekend in memory of the victims.
"African football is in a state of mourning," said CAF president Issa Hayatou.
Since Mubarak's ouster, Egypt has seen sporadic and sometimes deadly unrest coupled with a sharp rise in crime linked to the scarcity of police, who were heavily criticised for their crackdown on protesters during the uprising.
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