Egyptians protest as court bails police accused of killings

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Relatives of Egyptians who died in the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February blocked a main road after a court freed police officers on trial for the killings, witnesses said.

The protest on a road linking the Suez Canal city of Suez to Cairo could further inflame emotions ahead of planned demonstrations on Friday led by activists impatient with what they see as the ruling military council’s foot-dragging in implementing reforms.

Witnesses said some 300 people were enraged when a criminal court in Cairo freed 10 policemen and a businessman on trial for the killings, granting them bail until the next hearing in September, Reuters reports.
“The families are determined to continue blocking the road as they have done for four hours,” said activist Islam Nasser.
“There is some minor friction between the families and the military police who are trying to open the road to ease the traffic jam.”

There were no reports of injuries.

The former security chief of Suez city is among those on trial. They are accused of deliberately killing several people during protests that eventually forced Mubarak to step down on February 11.

Security sources said the country’s public prosecutor had appealed the court’s decision to free the police officers.

Last week, more than 1,000 people were injured in clashes with hundreds of stone-throwing youths in Cairo.

The clashes began after relatives of some of the more than 800 people killed in the uprising against Mubarak held an event in a Cairo suburb in their honour.

Former interior minister Habib al-Adli has been sentenced to jail for corruption but he and other officials are still being tried on charges related to killing protesters.

Separately, security sources said a 14-year-old boy was killed when police officers fired live ammunition and tear gas at a crowd that had gathered outside a police station demanding that detained relatives be freed. The source said some people in the crowd were armed.