CAIRO, March 2 (RIA Novosti) – Egyptian protesters torched a police station in the Suez Canal city of Port Said as US Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Cairo on Saturday for talks to help overcome the country's economic crisis.
Some 500 people hurled stones and petrol bombs at the police station in Port Said, setting it ablaze, local police officials said.
Clashes between protesters and police have also intensified in Egypt's Nile Delta city of Mansoura where one person died after being hit by a Central Security Forces (CSF) vehicle on Friday.
Dozens were injured in the early hours of Saturday when fresh clashes broke out in the Nile Delta city. Egypt’s Interior Ministry said 21 police officers were injured in the protests.
The protests came as Kerry arrived in Cairo on his first official visit to Egypt as secretary of state. During his two-day visit, Kerry will discuss the $4.8 billion International Monetary Fund loan package desperately needed to boost the country’s ailing economy.
The talks with Egyptian leaders will also focus the Palestinian peace process, the Syrian crisis as well as the preparations for Egypt’s parliamentary elections, scheduled for April.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s opposition leaders Mohammed ElBaradei and Hamdeen Sabahi have rejected the invitations for talks with Kerry. "We want to send a message that we reject US pressure," Sabahi told private broadcaster ONTV on Friday.
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The failure of the Islamist political parties who came to power in the dramatic events of the Arab Spring would allow the military to reenter the political arena. Political Islam was successful in the opposition, but it could fail in power, as the negative experience of Egypt and Iraq have shown.