Skip to main content

Clashes erupt in Egypt's volatile Port Said

By Mark Morgenstein and Salma Abdelaziz, CNN
updated 7:41 PM EST, Mon March 4, 2013
Egyptian protesters clash with security forces in Port Said late on March 3, 2013.
Egyptian protesters clash with security forces in Port Said late on March 3, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Witnesses say a government security building was set ablaze
  • 4 killed, hundreds injured as Egyptian city Port Said erupts again
  • Violence is growing as verdict nears for dozens of people accused in deadly riot at 2012 soccer game
  • Some people in Port Said have long resented Cairo

(CNN) -- At least four people were killed and hundreds more were injured in fresh clashes in the volatile city of Port Said, Egypt's health ministry said Monday.

More than 150 of those hurt were still in the hospital as of noon local time, ministry spokesman Dr. Yehya Moussa said.

A government security building was set ablaze as police and protesters clashed, witnesses said.

The violence snowballed throughout the weekend, as a March 9 verdict date neared for 52 defendants involved in a deadly riot at a soccer game in February 2012.

Fear and loathing in Egypt: The fallout from Port Said

Map: Port Said, Egypt

Twenty-one defendants already have been sentenced to death for their alleged roles in the so-called "massacre at Port Said," when 74 people were killed and 1,000 injured after the Port Said-based al-Masry team defeated Cairo's al-Ahry 13 months ago.

Soccer fans in the restive Egyptian city also clashed with security forces and torched a police station Saturday, according to the interior ministry. The Green Ultras, fans of al-Masry, are often in the middle of political violence.

Egypt's football season opens -- with no fans in the stands

Egypt's Port Said at boiling point
Port Said rages against Morsy

Reports surfaced that amid the weekend tumult, soldiers fought with police. And the state-run MENA news agency reported two of the those killed Monday were army conscripts. But a spokesman for Egypt's armed forces denied any conflict between the uniformed personnel.

"It is completely untrue that armed forces units in Port Said exchanged fire with police forces during the clashes," Col. Ahmed Ali posted on his Facebook page Sunday night.

Port Said, in northeastern Egypt, near the Sinai Peninsula, has had a tense relationship with Cairo dating back about 60 years.

Many residents of Port Said felt Egyptian security forces didn't adequately defend the city during the series of wars with Israel that began with the Jewish state's creation in 1948 and ended after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

In addition, some Port Said residents say the central government doesn't invest enough of the tax dollars it reaps from international ships traveling through the Suez Canal back into in Port Said.

Journalist Sarah Sirgany and CNN's Reza Sayah, Amir Ahmed and Jill Dougherty contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
updated 12:52 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
CNN's Will Ripley travels to North Korea, visiting an international wrestling festival and a slide-filled water park.
updated 5:20 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
In a raid on a luxury apartment complex, agents caught up with a French-Algerian man they accuse of bringing back terror to Europe.
updated 8:02 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about trying to get a hostage home alive.
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
updated 2:35 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
South Africa Music Legends stamps
Artist Hendrik Gericke puts a spotlight on iconic performers from South Africa in these incredible monochrome illustrations.
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT