Egypt soccer violence: 10 killed in three days

Last Updated: Saturday, February 4, 2012 - 18:29

Cairo: Egypt`s streets continued to simmer
with anger with 10 lives lost over three days, as fuming
protesters clashed with police over its failure to prevent
Port Said`s unprecedented football violence.

Police in Cairo fired teargas and birdshots at protesters
who tried to march on to the interior ministry and threw
stones at security forces guarding the building today even as
anti-government activists smelled conspiracy in the deadly
riots that had claimed 74 lives on Wednesday.

Six people died in the eastern port city of Suez, as
police used live rounds to hold back crowds yesterday,
according to a report in Al Jazeera.

Three protesters were also killed in Cairo as crowds broke
down walls and barbed wire barriers to reach the heavily
guarded interior ministry.

The government said one soldier was also killed when a
riot police truck hit him and more than 2,500 people stood
injured in the clashes.

The fresh unrest in Egypt began on Thursday as angry
protesters took to the streets, shaken by violence that
occurred after a soccer match in the northern city of Port
Said.

The protesters chanted anti-military slogans as witnesses
said riot police did little to prevent the violence when fans
of the victorious Al Masry club flooded the ground and chased
the players and supporters of the popular club Al Ahly.

Many anti-government activists and hardcore fans of
Egypt`s popular clubs, known as `ultras`, have blamed the
country`s military leadership for either conspiring to foment
the Port Said violence or negligently allowing it to occur,
said Al Jazeera.

The `Ultras` have been among those at the forefront of
last year`s uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak and the
following anti-military protests.

The channel also pointed out at "security vacuum" in the
country that is going through a delicate phase of transition
to democracy, a year after the fall of an entrenched dictator.

The protests were not limited to Cairo and Suez. In
southern Egypt`s Minya governorate, 11 people were injured in
protests outside the security directorate and police station.
In Alexandria, tear gas and fireworks were traded between
security forces and protesters into the night outside the main
security directorate.

In al-Marg, armed men attacked a police station and freed
detainees after setting the station on fire, state-owned
al-Ahram newspaper reported.

The protesters demanded retribution for the deaths that
occurred on Wednesday. While most deaths happened due to
stampede, several people reportedly died of stab wounds.
Fans of the home side, Al Masry, had stormed the pitch
after a 3-1 victory against visiting favourites Al Ahly and
witnesses said security forces had allowed men into the
stadium carrying knives and sticks.

Egypt has witnessed periods of unrest for a year with
protesters, frustrated at the slow pace of reforms, taking to
streets repeatedly to demand that the military cede power to a
civilian government quickly.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, February 4, 2012 - 15:27

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