Rioting at Egyptian soccer match turned deadly

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At least 74 people died Wednesday night after riots erupted at a soccer match in Egypt.

The riot at the Stadium in Port Said broke out when fans of the local team, Al-Masry, stormed the field after a rare 3-1 win against Al-Ahly, one of Egypt's most popular clubs, according to the Associated Press.

The two teams have a long seated rivalry, and Al-Masry's win was an upset.

Al-Masry supporters, armed with knives, sticks, and stones, chased Al-Ahly players and fans, forcing them to find an escape, witnesses told the Associated Press.

Some Egyptians have blamed police forces at the match for not doing enough to stop the fighting to lash back at the Ultras -- die-hard soccer fans who have been among the most aggressive political protestors in the past year, according to the Washington Post.

Al-Masry fan, Mohammed Mosleh, who posted his on Facebook that he saw "thugs with weapons" on his side in the stadium where police presence was meager, reported the Associated Press.

Riot footage shows police lines' lack of effort to contain the fighting, video from the Washington Post.

The Egyptian Soccer Federation's board was dissolved in an emergency parliamentary session, and Port Said's Governor and Police Chief have resigned, according to Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri.

Star Al-Ahly player Mohammad Abu Treika told the team's television station that the national league tournament should be suspended indefinitely in light of the evening's bloodshed.

The riot Wednesday occurred on the one-year anniversary of one of the most violent days of Egypt's political uprising. On Feb. 2 last year, Mubarak loyalists attacked protesters in Tahrir Square, leading to two days of unadulterated violence.

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This page contains a single entry by and01658 published on February 2, 2012 11:54 AM.

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