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30 November 2023

Egypt marches planned as anger mounts against military


Egyptian activists called for mass protests in Cairo on Friday to demand the ouster of the ruling military council, target of raging anger over the deaths of 74 people in football-related violence.

Demonstrators were to stage marches from mosques across Cairo after noon prayer towards parliament, 28 pro-democracy groups said in statements on the Internet.

They will demand that the military council, which took power when an uprising toppled veteran president Hosni Mubarak last year, step down, the statement said.

The activists accuse the military of mismanagement of the fragile transition, and blame it for the deadly violence on Wednesday in the northern city of Port Said following a football match.

The tragedy sparked protests in several cities overnight which deteriorated into violent clashes with police.

Medics said two protesters were shot dead in the canal city of Suez and more than 30 people were injured.

On Thursday, more than 600 were injured when thousands protested in Cairo, clashing with police as they tried to reach the interior ministry, which they say is responsible for allowing the football violence to happen.

Egyptians have become increasingly angry with the ruling military, which they accuse of failing to manage the country and of human rights abuses.

For months, they have taken to the streets to demand the ouster of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and its chief Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi -- Mubarak's defence minister for two decades.

The latest unrest was sparked by the clashes between fans of Port Said home team Al-Masry and Cairo's Al-Ahly, which erupted at the final whistle of the match.

Al-Masry fans invaded the pitch after their team beat the visitors 3-1, throwing rocks, bottles and fireworks at Al-Ahly supporters, causing chaos and panic as players and fans fled in all directions, witnesses said.

The violence marked one of the deadliest incidents in football history.