Demonstrators protest outside Algerian embassy

CAIRO - Demonstrators gathered for a second day near the Algerian embassy in Cairo on Friday to protest against what they said was violence against Egyptians during a play-off for the World Cup finals.

Egypt recalled its ambassador to Algeria on Thursday, accusing Algerian fans of thuggery during the match in Khartoum on Wednesday, which Algeria won 1-0 to qualify for the World Cup in South Africa next year.

The Interior Ministry warned Egyptians against further protests after 11 police officers and 24 demonstrators were injured in riots near the embassy at dawn on Friday. Such demonstrations are almost unheard-of in Cairo.

"The police will be forced to take steps it sees necessary in the case of any other contraventions of the law," the ministry said in a statement.

About 150 demonstrators gathered on Friday in the Zamalek neighbourhood, where many embassies are located.

Police trucks and hundreds of officers in riot gear formed a cordon along the streets to block their way to the Algerian embassy, a Reuters witness said.

"One, two, where's the ambassador gone to?" they chanted in Arabic.

Passing cars hooted and some waved Egyptian flags in support of the demonstrators. Stones and broken glass from the previous night's violence littered the street.

Reuters witnesses said about 2,000 demonstrators gathered during the night and many began throwing bottles and stones after a police charge to break up the crowd. Two police vehicles were overturned.

The windows of four shops, a petrol station and 12 glass billboards were shattered and 15 private and police vehicles were damaged during the dawn riots, the Interior Ministry said.