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In Egypt: Protests Continue, Opposition Balks At Talks With Morsi

Jan 28, 2013
Originally published on January 29, 2013 9:15 am

A fifth day of "widening unrest," as The New York Times puts it, is underway in Egypt.

Clashes continue, Merrit Kennedy reports from Cairo for the NPR Newscast, even though President Mohammed Morsi has declared a 30-day state of emergency and night curfews in three provinces.

Since Friday, Merrit adds, more than 1,000 people have been injured and at least 40 have been killed.

According to The Guardian, "thousands of people turned out on the streets of Port Said on Monday to attend the funerals of the latest victims of violence in the Egyptian city." The Times says that some of those who took to the streets "chased away armored personnel carriers with rocks and shoes." In Cairo, the Times adds, "police fired tear gas at protesters at the foot of the Kasr el-Nile bridge, the scene of an epic battle during the uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak exactly two years ago."

Protests against the Morsi government began last week on the two-year anniversary of the revolution that toppled then-President Hosni Mubarak. Critics say he has stifled democracy.

Over the weekend, demonstrators also took to the streets of Port Said to express their anger over the death sentences handed down for 21 people convicted for their roles in a soccer riot last year that left 74 people dead.

More than 30 people died in Saturday's riots in Port Said.

Morsi has called for a "national dialogue" with his critics Monday night. But Reuters reports that "Egypt's main opposition coalition will not join [the] national dialogue ... called by President Mohammed Morsi because the proposal was not genuine and the group will only attend future talks if a list of conditions are met, members said. ... The coalition's conditions included a demand that Morsi accept responsibility for the bloodshed and agree to form a government of national salvation, echoing previously unmet demands by the opposition."

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