Riots along the Suez Canal have prompted radical measures in Egypt. Country officials have instituted a state of emergency in 3 major cities.
According to Al Jazeera
, president Mohamed Morsi has announced that security measures will be enforced in Port Said, Ismailia and Suez.
“I have said I am against any emergency measures but I have said that if I must stop bloodshed and protect the people then I will act,” Morsi stated on national television.
The emergency state starts on Monday, January 28. It has been set for the duration of 30 days, and it is accompanied by a 9.00 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
“If I must I will do much more for the sake of Egypt. This is my duty and I will not hesitate,” the president explains.
48 people have been killed in the three locations over the weekend, during riots. Revolts broke out on Friday, for the anniversary of the date when president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown, 2 years ago.
The spark that lit the fuse was the conviction of 21 fans involved in a football stadium riot that killed 74 people last year. Sky News
notes that approximately 460 were injured in Port Said on Sunday, as protests escalated. The incident was followed by the president showing an olive branch in his televised public announcement, calling the opposition out for a conflict resolution meeting today.
“There is no alternative to dialogue,” he said.
Many are displeased with the current administration, and fires were set at police stations and a well-known club used as a meeting place for armed forces.
“Down, down Morsi, down down the regime that killed and tortured us!” demonstrators chanted. They carried the coffins of the clash victims along the city streets.
“The people [in Port Said] feel that there was a complete state of collapse especially after riots today, particularly with tear gas being fired into the funerals.
“I dont see how these decisions will instil any confidence in the people,” reporter Rawya Rageh commented on the issue.