Defiant protesters turn up the heat on Egyptian president

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Thousands of Egyptians have marched across the country, chanting against the rule of the Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, in a fresh wave of protests.

The protests continue a week of political rioting that engulfed the country and left up to 60 people dead.

The violence prompted Mr Morsi to declare a state of emergency in three restive Suez Canal cities, impose a curfew that thousands of the cities’ angry residents defied in night rallies, and left him with eroding popularity in the street. On Thursday, thousands of protesters in the Mediterranean city of Port Said at the northern tip of Suez Canal, which witnessed the worst clashes and biggest number of casualties the past days, pumped their fists in the air while chanting, “Leave, leave, Morsi.” They threatened to escalate pressure with civil disobedience and a work stoppage at the vital Suez Canal authority if their demand for punishment of those responsible for protester deaths is not met. “The people want the Republic of Port Said,” protesters chanted, voicing a wide sentiment among residents that they are fed up of negligence.