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Middle East
Riots outside Suez security building
Protesters burn police cars and pelt government buildings with stones after police officers accused of killings bailed.
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2011 16:08



Hundreds of people have tried to storm a security headquarters in the Egyptian city of Suez, after a court confirmed the bail of seven police accused of killing protesters during the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

The protesters, who included families of victims, were furious when a court rejected the public prosecutor's appeal against a decision to free the police officers on bail.

In video

Ayman Mohyeldin reporting from Suez shot this exclusive video showing protesters there.

Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin reporting from Suez, where the angry crowd took to the streets, burning police cars, and pelting government buildings with stones, said that people inside the building opened fire to try to push back those trying to enter the building.

"Military police are here on the scene, they are trying to control the situation, but so far they have been unsuccessful in pushing the crowd back," our correspondent said.

"They have been able to secure the entrance to the building in order to secure the people from going im, but the situation outside remains very tense."

A court bailed the seven officers on Monday, sparking clashes in Cairo, where the trial was being held because of the sensitivity of the case in Suez.

The seven are among 14 facing trial over the murder of 17 protesters and wounding of 300 others in the Red Sea city. The other seven are on the run and being tried in absentia.

'Heightened tensions'

The case comes amid heightened tensions in Egypt over the handling of legal proceedings against security forces who used deadly violence in the uprising, killing 846 civilians and wounding thousands, according to official figures.

Our correspondent added: "This situation highlights the frustration Egyptians have toward the process of justice that is unfolding.

Right now a lot of the security personnel who were allegedly involved in the killing of protesters during the revolution have been put on trial throughout the country.

"But several of them have been either released on bail, some of them have not been convicted. The only low-level policeman involved in the killing to have been sentenced to death was sentenced in absentia."

Egypt's new government, led by the military, has sought to calm the situation by announcing the creation of a fund to assist victims' families, which it said on Monday would be worth about $16 million.

Activists are calling for protests on Friday against the slow pace of justice and calling for those responsible to be punished.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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