Clashes between protesters and Egypt’s security forces near Tahrir Square continued Monday despite a state of emergency declared in three hardest hit provinces.
A group of masked men fired at security forces, injuring one soldier and prompting the forces to use tear gas to disperse the protesters, according to the Egypt Independent. A civilian was also killed in Monday’s gunfire, Al Ahram newspaper reported. President Mohamed Morsi declared a 30-day state of emergency in a televised address late Sunday, while warning protesters that he would not hesitate to take further action to contain violence.
Prime Minister Hisham Qandil made an unannounced visit Monday morning to the security forces stationed near Tahrir, Egypt Independent added. He told officers to use force against vandals and other lawbreakers, the newspaper reported, citing an unnamed security source who attended the meeting.
Violence broke out in cities such as Suez and Ismailia Friday on the eve of the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution, which began Jan. 25, 2011. Protesters, who had grown disgruntled over the slow pace of change and with some of the steps Morsi had taken, clashed with his Islamist supporters and security forces, leaving at least seven people dead.
A court ruling Saturday, issuing death sentences for 21 people from Port Said for their roles in a football game riot last year, ignited further violence. Over the weekend, at least 38 people, including civilians and soldiers, were killed in Port Said, according to a CNN report.