Conflict

Hundreds riot in Egyptian port city on the Suez Canal

Egyptian pro-democracy activists demonstrate on July 1, 2011 in Cairo's landmark Tahrir Square to keep up the pressure on the country's military rulers over the pace of reforms.
Credit: KHALED DESOUKI

Hundreds of demonstrators torched police vehicles and threw rocks at government buildings in Suez on Wednesday, two days after a Cairo appeals court decision allowed the release on bail of seven policemen accused of killing protesters in this port city.

The policemen are accused of killing 17 people and wounding more than 300 protesters during Egypt's uprising in late January.

The Associated Press reports:

Ahmed el-Ganadi, the father of a protester killed in Suez during the uprising earlier this year, said hundreds marched toward the security building on Wednesday after a court in Cairo rejected an appeal of the release of the policemen on trial. He says the military is trying to break up the riots.

Police in Suez lobbed stones back at the Egyptian protesters, reported Al-Ahram, a local state-funded online newspaper.  Protesters also chanted slogans against Egypt's interior ministry, the Cairo headquarters of the country's security forces.  

The violence in Suez on Wednesday is the latest in what has been an especially turbulent week of unrest in Egypt. Last week, hundreds were injured when police forces used tear gas to disperse demonstrators in central Cairo.

Public outrage over the slow pace of political reform is on the rise in post-revolutionary Egypt, nearly five months after the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak.

Frustration has mounted over perceived leniency in the prosecution of former Mubarak officials believed to be responsible for graft and human rights abuses.

An Egyptian court acquitted three former ministers of corruption on Tuesday, reported the New York Times.

Much of the anger has been directed at the military leaders who are running Egypt's transitional government, which assumed power on February 11 after Mubarak resigned from office.

Egyptian activists are planning another major protest to "reclaim the revolution" for July 8 in Cairo's Tahrir Square - the epicenter of the mass demonstrations that toppled Mubarak.

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