At least 17 killed in protests on anniversary of Egypt uprising

Updated: 2015-01-26 10:11


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At least 17 killed in protests on anniversary of Egypt uprising

An anti-government protester chants slogans during a protest in front of the journalists' syndicate in Cairo January 25, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

CAIRO - At least 17 people were killed on Sunday in Egypt's bloodiest protests since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was elected president, as security forces fired at protesters marking the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

Gunfire and sirens could be heard in Cairo into the night as armoured personnel carriers moved through the centre of a city where security forces had once again used lethal force against dissenters. A Health Ministry spokesman said at least 17 people had been killed at protests across the country.

Gunmen in a car opened fire on a security checkpoint near the pyramids, killing two policemen, and a bomb wounded two policemen outside a Cairo sports club, security sources said.

During the day, riot police backed by soldiers in armoured vehicles sealed off roads, including those leading to Cairo's Tahrir Square, the symbolic heart of the 2011 revolt.

The heaviest death toll was in the Cairo suburb of Matariya, a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold. Special forces fired pistols and rifles at protesters, a Reuters witness said. Eight people, including one policeman, were killed, the Health Ministry said.

People in Matariya chanted "down with military rule" and "a revolution all over again". Some threw Molotov cocktails at security forces and fires raged in the streets.

In downtown Cairo, riot police with rifles and plain clothed men with pistols chased protesters through the streets.

Six people were killed in separate protests in Alexandria, Egypt's second biggest city, Giza governorate outside of Cairo and the Nile Delta province of Baheira, security sources said.

Signs of discontent built up as the anniversary of the revolt against Mubarak approached, and a liberal woman activist, Shaimaa Sabbagh, was shot dead at a protest on Saturday.

About 1,000 people marched in her funeral procession on Sunday. The Health Ministry said she had been shot in the face and back and Interior Ministry spokesman Hany Abdel Latif said an investigation into her death had begun, adding: "No one is above the law."

"Shaima was killed in cold blood," Medhat al-Zahid, vice president of the Socialist Popular Alliance party that Sabbagh belonged to, told a news conference.

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