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Soccer Deaths Have Cairo Streets Boiling Over Again
February 5, 2012

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The situation is deteriorating yet again in Cairo, where protesters have set a government building on fire and police have resorted to tear gas to disperse people gathered in the streets.

Many protesters clashed with police outside the Interior Ministry over the deaths of 74 people at a Port Said soccer stadium. It was the worst disaster ever at an Egyptian soccer stadium, and protesters suspect that the police were involved on some level, if only in being slow to respond. The police have said that rival fans started and perpetuated the violence.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces have so far refused to move up presidential elections scheduled for April 15. Elections for both houses of Parliament have taken place, with members of the Muslim Brotherhood winning a large number of seats. A civilian advisory council recently advised the ruling generals to bring the presidential election forward, as early as February 23.

Former President Hosni Mubarak, the symbol and target of so much of the ire of street protesters a year go, might be moving to a prison hospital. Mubarak, whose trial is under yet another delay, is being held in a military hospital. The hospital Mubarak would move to is at the Torah prison, where his two sons, his former interior minister and other cabinet officials have been detained in recent months.

Meanwhile, a gas pipeline running from Egypt to Israel was disrupted by explosion again on Sunday, the 12th such disruption since Mubarak fled from power. While Mubarak was in power, the two countries signed a two-decade deal to transport natural gas from Egypt's Gasco to Israel. Many critics of the plan have complained about what they see as too little money coming in from Israel.


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