Violence in Sharqiya | Gasoline and Diesel Shortages

Violence broke out in Egypt’s Sharqiya province during a protest against President Morsi. Seven people, including a general in Egypt’s Central Security Forces, were injured when supporters of the President clashed with protesters. The protesters were gathered in front of Zagazig Cultural Palace when the violence erupted. A member of the opposition New Wafd Party blamed Muslim Brotherhood members for opening fire on the protest, while a spokesman for the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party said that protesters attacked a van full of pro-Morsi demonstrators.

Also in Sharqiya, a mufti with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, Abdel Rahman al-Barr, gave a speech that defined people who planned to protest on June 30 as being against Islam. As word of al-Barr’s speech spread, protestors, some of whom were apparently armed, gathered around the mosque where he was speaking and would not let him leave. Police and security forces managed to disperse the crowd enough to allow al-Barr to escape, though at least sixteen people were injured.

Reuters reported that the anticipation of protests on June 30 was beginning to have economic consequences. Shortages of gasoline and diesel were reported as drivers lined up to fill their tanks. Such queues had appeared periodically in the past, however, and it was not apparent whether simple consumer demand was causing the lack of supply or if buyers were responding to a shortage caused by other factors. Egyptians also stocked up on food and cash to last through the protests, and shop owners and other businesses prepared to deal with unrest.