Egypt death toll at 17 - Emirates24|7

Egypt death toll at 17

The death toll from the latest violent clashes in Egypt between protesters and security forces has risen to 17, a security official said Saturday.

Friday's protests were the deadliest in months, coming less than two weeks ahead of a key referendum on an amended constitution.

Raging street battled gripped Cairo and other heavily populated residential areas in several cities and provinces such as Alexandria, Ismailia, Fayoum and Minya. Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members and their supporters threw fire bombs and rocks at security forces who responded with water cannons and tear gas.

Health Ministry Spokesman Mohammed Fathallah said 62 people were injured in Friday's violence.

The security official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said police arrested 258 protesters and confiscated homemade bombs, firearms, knives, fireworks and Molotov cocktails.

Among the security forces, 17 were injured in the clashes, and three vehicles and a traffic office in Cairo's twin city of Giza were set on fire, he said.

The streets were mostly calm on Saturday and Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim warned that the police "will not tolerate assaults on the safety of Egypt's citizens."

"The security apparatus will not leave Egypt hostage in the hands of the outlaws," he said during a visit to a security training headquarters.

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