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Port Said has been the center of the heaviest violence in Egypt’s latest wave of unrest. The ongoing turmoil began on Jan. 25, when hundreds of thousands across the country marked the second anniversary of the start of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
Cairo, the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, and several cities in the Nile Delta north of the capital have all been swept up in the unrest as well.
During clashes between police and protesters the past week that killed eight people, Port Said also saw dangerous frictions between police and the military. Army troops trying to break up the clashes at one point fired over the heads of police forces, which had been shooting tear gas in their direction.
At least some of the anger city residents feel for the police was defused on Friday, when police handed over security control in the city to the military.
No police could be seen anywhere in Port Said on Saturday. A military helicopter hovered overhead and army checkpoints were set up on main streets.
Batrawy reported from Port Said. Associated Press writer Mariam Rizk contributed to this report from Cairo.
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