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Egypt police shoot dead protester in Port Said clashes

Protesters shout slogans at riot police during clashes along Qasr Al Nil bridge, which leads to Tahrir Square in Cairo, on 7 March 2013. (Photo: Reuters - Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Police shot dead an Egyptian protester overnight Friday in a fifth consecutive day of clashes in the restive city of Port Said, a doctor said.

Karim Sayid Abdel Aziz, 33, died of a bullet wound to the head, said physician Mohammed Arnous who treated him in a Port Said hospital. Abdel Aziz had been shot three times.

A medic told AFP that 73 people were wounded in the clashes, including five people who suffered bullet wounds and 19 who were hit by birdshot.

The clashes on Thursday resumed after protesters marched on the police headquarters, which they had already set ablaze on Tuesday, chanting "the interior ministry are thugs," an AFP correspondent reported.

Police fired tear gas and then birdshot as soldiers, deployed in the city since late January, moved in to guard the police building.

The unrest in the Suez Canal city, fuelled by January death sentences handed down to football fans over deadly rioting last year, flared again on Sunday, with six people, including three policemen, dying in the clashes.

Disgruntled police meanwhile continued strikes across the country, with officers demanding better protection.

Hundreds of police refused to work for a second day Friday at a base outside Ismailia, about 70 kilometers south of Port Said, demanding more arms after several of their colleagues were killed in recent clashes.

Police also went on strike in Tanta, north of Cairo, while security forces charged with guarding one of President Mohammed Mursi's residences in the Nile Delta started a sit-in at a sports stadium to demand legal protection from prosecution over their actions to control civil unrest.

They said they did not want to get mixed up in the country's political crisis, state news agency MENA reported.

Dozens of police protested peacefully in Egypt's second city of Alexandria, saying they did not want their work to become politicized and chanting "the police are not against the people," MENA said.


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