Clashes in Cairo last month
Photo: Reuters

Egypt soccer fans, troops clash; 1 killed

Soldiers clash with thousands of soccer fans over suspension of games following deadly riot last month

Egyptian soldiers clashed with thousands of angry soccer fans in a Mediterranean coastal city over the suspension of their club following a deadly riot last month, witnesses said Saturday. A medical official said a teenager was killed and 68 people injured.


The Feb. 1 melee following a match in the city of Port Said in which at least 73 people died was the world's worst soccer-related disaster in 15 years. The causes remain murky. Officers have been charged with assisting Port Said fans attack supporters of a Cairo club who had a long history of enmity with the police, and some port residents have claimed that hired outsiders were responsible for much of the violence.


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In the latest clashes, Egyptian troops fired volleys of tear gas and shot into in the air to disperse protesters affiliated with Port Said's Al-Masry club, angry over what they see as unfair measures against their club and their city. Violence erupted late Friday and continued through Saturday.


Witnesses said that protesters set fire to tires, blocked major roads before gathering in front of the Suez Canal's main administrative building in an attempt to storm it. Soldiers and police cordoned off the building.


Clashes after soccer riot (Photo: Reuters)
Clashes after soccer riot (Photo: Reuters)


Activists in the city say that families of fans who were arrested after the deadly stadium riot used to hold peaceful protests, but "instigators" have turned their peaceful protests into violent ones.


A medial official said teenager Belal Mamdouh was killed by a gunshot to the back. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the press, said 68 people were injured with gunshots and breathing difficulties from tear gas.


The clashes originally erupted after the Egyptian Football Association on Friday officially suspended Al-Masry for two seasons ending 2013, and closed its stadium for three years as punishment for the stadium riot.


Protesters also denounced what they described as a media campaign against their club. Hours before the protests broke out, one famous sports presenter, a former soccer goalkeeper, said that the measures were not enough.


Street fighting renewed Saturday evening as protesters hurled rocks at military forces, who responded with salvos of tear gas. Ambulances rushed to the area to treat the injured.





פרסום ראשון: 03.24.12, 21:05
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