Egyptian police shot dead one protester in the Mediterranean city of Port Said and another in Cairo on Monday as thousands of protesters continued to protest for the third day against President Mohammed Mursi.
“A young man called Mohammed Gharib was killed by gunfire during clashes outside Arab police station in Port Said,” the source said. “The youth died on his way to a hospital in the city of Zagazig.”
In Cairo on Monday, one man was killed as clashes between police and protesters raged into a fifth day, with demonstrators and police lobbing rocks at each other on a bridge in an underpass leading to Tahrir Square as tear gas hung heavily in the air.
Mursi late on Sunday announced a crackdown on the violence which has swept Egypt since Friday in which nearly 50 people have died, declaring a month-long state of emergency in the provinces of Port Said, Suez and Ismailiya, where rioters have attacked and torched police stations.
In a televised address he also slapped the three provinces with night-time curfews, while calling the opposition — which accuses him of betraying the revolution that brought him to power — to a national dialogue.
The National Salvation Front, which groups several mainly liberal and leftist movements, swiftly rejected the talks and called instead for countrywide protests on Friday.
“We will not participate in dialogue that is empty of content,” leading dissident Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters after a meeting of the NSF.
The coalition said Mursi needed to agree to a list of demands it laid out last week, including the formation of a national salvation government and the amendment of the Islamist-drafted constitution, before it agrees to any talks.
“We will not join a dialogue with no agenda just to project an image of talks,” ElBaradei said.
An NSF statement called “on the Egyptian people to take to the streets in all Tahrir Squares (across the nation) on Friday to stress the sanctity of the blood of the martyrs and achieve the goals of the revolution.”
Egypt’s senate, meanwhile, ratified a law that would grant the armed forces powers of arrest, the official MENA news agency reported, as the country was gripped by days violent unrest.
According to the text the armed forces will “support the police in maintaining order and protecting vital installations until the end of parliamentary elections and whenever the National Defense Council (headed by President Mohamed Mursi) requests it.”
The army will also “be given powers of arrest according to the law,” it said.