Cairo, 16 Rabiul Awal 1434/ 28 January 2013 (MINA) – Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi has announced a state of emergency in the cities of Port Said, Suez, and Ismailia following deadly clashes in the country.
The president said in a televised speech on Sunday that the emergency measures would take effect for 30 days “starting at midnight (22:00 GMT Sunday).”
Morsi further said that curfews would be imposed on the three cities from 9:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m, according to PressTV reports monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Monday.
He also expressed his readiness to take stronger measures in an effort to tackle threats to the country’s security.
The remarks came after violence broke out in Port Said for the second consecutive day on Sunday in reaction to death sentences passed on 21 people by a court in connection with 2012 deadly football riots in the city in which 74 people were killed and 1,000 others injured.
The Sunday conflict, which left as many as seven people dead and over 460 others injured, occurred during a mass funeral procession held for most of 37 people, who were killed in clashes a day earlier, and when rioters exchanged gunfire with policemen at three police stations and outside Port Said’s main prison.
The president added that “If I must I will do much more for the sake of Egypt. This is my duty and I will not hesitate.” Following Morsi’s declaration of state of emergency a few hundred people took to the streets in Ismailia and clashed with the police.
This comes as the president in his address invited the opposition and political leaders across the country for talks on Monday. “There is no going back to freedom and democracy…the rule of law and social justice that the revolution has paved.”
Egypt’s main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front, has reportedly welcomed Morsi’s measure to restore security.
On Friday, nine people were killed by gunfire during clashes between police and protesters in Suez on the second anniversary of the revolution that toppled former dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Thousands of Egyptians staged demonstrations in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Port Said, and many other cities and towns to call on Morsi, who took office in June 2012, to fulfill his election promises.
The Egyptians launched the revolution against Mubarak on January 25, 2011, which eventually brought an end to Mubarak’s 30-year-long dictatorship on February 11, 2011.(T/P-07/R-006).
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)