Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The toll from riots marking the Egyptian Jasmine Revolution now stands at 12 dead and nearly 500 people injured. Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of people protested in major Egyptian cities - Cairo, Alexandria, Assuit, Port Said, Suez, Sharqiya, Kafr al-Sheikh - calling for the end of the Islamist establishment and a true democracy. The most serious clashes took place in Suez, where eight people were killed. Later in the evening the army blocked the city, deploying troops to the channel.
According to witnesses, the police fired first rubber bullets, then live ammunition into a crowd trying to break into the headquarters of the regional governor. Among the victims: a woman, a boy of 15 and two policemen. Violent clashes also took place in Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailiya. In the capital, police and demonstrators clashed near Tahrir Square. Police did not even spare the religious buildings as they chased protesters, which remained open to provide shelter and care for the wounded.
A Qasr al-Aini street, police fired tear gas into the local evangelical church, poisoning many people. "The police targeted the church - says Nermeen a young protester - they shot down six candelabras in the nave, where we were taking care of many affected by smoke inhalation from tear gas." In Ismailiya (Suez), the demonstrators set fire to the local headquarters of the Freedom and Justice Party (PLJ), of the Muslim Brotherhood, invading the seat of the government. Public buildings were attacked in Damietta (Nile Delta) and Kafr el-Sheikh (Red Sea).
In a short message to the nation published on Facebook and Twitter, President Mohamed Morsi has vowed to "restore order in a country divided by political unrest." The Islamist leader has threatened to use an iron fist against the perpetrators of violence: "The security forces will pursue them all over the country to bring them to justice. They are doing their best to protect and ensure the peaceful demonstrations."
Meanwhile, the court of Port Said sentenced 21 of the 73 accused in the massacre of February 2, 2012, during the post-match clashes between the fans of the local team Al-Masry al-Alhawy and Cairo. The invasion was caused by the pitch invasion by hooligans from Al-Masry. This morning, hundreds of ultras of the local team and family members of prisoners raided some police stations. The partial toll is 11 dead, dozens injured, but there are fears of new clashes in the coming hours.