Egypt is going down the gurgler, fast:
Egypt’s Islamist President Declares State of Emergency as Violence Intensifies: ‘A Complete State of Collapse’
“I instructed interior ministry officials to strictly deal with whoever threatens people…”Â ReadÂ MoreÂ Â»
MuBroÂ President Mohammed Morsi has declared a state of emergency in three Egyptian cities after new violence. At least six people were killed and hundreds injured in the canal city of Port Said during clashes with police.
More from Egypt (thanks to Vlad)
Twenty-seven die in riots after Egyptian court sentences 21 to death for football violence which killed 74 fans
- Families of those sentencedÂ tried to storm jail in Port Said to free prisoners
- More than 200 people were also injured, state television reported
- Violence broke out during match between Al-Masry and Al-Ahly last February
- The riot in Port Said was the worst football-related violence in 15 years
- Violence also broke out during marches to mark second anniversary of uprising in which formerÂ Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was ousted
- Britain called for ‘maximum restraint’ and strongly condemned the violence
ByÂ MARIO LEDWITH
An Egyptian court today sentenced 21 people to death after they were involved in a riot following a football match in which 74 people were killed.
The controversial verdict prompted further bloodshed, as 27 people were killed during reactionary riots outside theÂ Mediterranean city of Port Said’s main jail today.
The unrest is part of a wave of violence that has swept Egypt, leaving a total of 38 people dead in two days.
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Today,Â Britain called for ‘maximum restraint’ and strongly condemned the violence.
On Friday, 11 people were killed in clashes between police and protesters who were marking the second anniversary of the uprising that overthrew longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.
President Mohammed Morsi canceled a scheduled trip to Ethiopia Saturday and instead met for the first time with top generals as part of the newly formed National Defense Council.
The violence in Port Said followed the court decision when angry relatives of those sentenced tried to storm the prison to free the defendants, shooting dead two police officers, according to reports.
Egyptian security officials said the military had been deployed to the city, where most of those sentenced are from, as police became embroiled in violent clashes with protestors.
Officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at those demonstrating, who feel aggrieved that they are shouldering the blame for the riots.
The violence during the match last year was the world’s worst football related disaster in 15 years.
Fans of Al-Ahly, whose stands were attacked by rival club Al-Masry in the Mediterranean city of Port Said, had promised more violence if the accused did not receive death sentences.
Families of the those killed during the disorder wailed in the courtroom as the judge gave the sentence, while some shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ – Arabic for God is great
One man fainted, while others wailed and cried in disbelief as they carried pictures of the young men killed in the soccer riot.
Relief: A man, wearing a picture of his relative, reacts after the verdict. Family members shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ – Arabic for God is great
Sentencing: The judge will sentence a further 52 people, charged in connection with the riots, in MarchThe judge said in his statement, read live on state TV, that he would announce the verdict for the remaining 52 defendants at a later date.
While many of those on trial included alleged football hooligans, nine security officials also face charges.
The death sentences will be sent to a top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, for approval, as is customary in Egypt.
Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said the violence which has been seen in the past two days ‘can have no place in a truly democratic Egypt’.
‘I am deeply concerned by reports of violent clashes resulting in a number of deaths and injuries, following demonstrations to mark the second anniversary of the 25 January revolution and the verdict in the Port Said court case today,’ he said.
‘This cannot help the process of dialogue which we encourage as vital for Egypt today, and we must condemn the violence in the strongest terms.
‘We call on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and to ensure that all protests remain peaceful. I offer the condolences of the UK to the families of all the victims.’
The UK remained ‘committed as a strong friend of Egypt and the Egyptian people to support the aim of strengthening true democracy’, he went on.
‘The right to peaceful freedom of expression and assembly is an essential part of this, but the violence we have seen today can have no place in a truly democratic Egypt.’
Many violent soccer fans, known as Ultras, have taken a leading role in protests over the past two years.
Both Al-Ahly Ultras and Al-Masry Ultras widely believe that ex-members of the ousted regime of Hosni Mubarak helped instigate the attack.
The police are also accused of gross negligence over their handling of the incident.
Chaos: Egyptian football fans rush to the pitch during the riots. Another 52 people are awaiting sentencingIt is not clear what kind of evidence, if any, was presented to the court to back up claims that the attack had been orchestrated by regime officials.
All of the defendants – who were not present in the courtroom today for security reasons – have the right to appeal against the verdict.
The clashes occurred during a match between Port Said’s Al-Masry and Cairo’s Al-Ahly, the country’s most successful club,Â on February 1 last year.
The final whistle prompted more than 13,000 home fans, armed with knives, iron bars and machetes, to storm the pitch and attack rival Al-Ahly players and their 1,200 supporters.
Authorities shut off the stadium lights after the game, plunging it into darkness.
In the exit corridor, the fleeing crowd pressed against a chained gate until it broke open. Many were crushed under the crowd of people trying to flee.
In the days leading up to the verdict, Al-Ahly fans warned of bloodshed and ‘retribution’ if death sentences were not handed down.
Hundreds of Al-Ahly fans gathered outside the Cairo sports club in anticipation of the verdict, chanting against the police and the government.
While there has long been bad blood between the two rival teams, many blamed police for failing to perform usual searches for weapons at the stadium.
The Ultras, are among Egypt’s rowdiest and are proud of their hatred for the police, who were the backbone of Mubarak’s authoritarian rule.
The Ultras from Egypt’s sports clubs were engaged in deadly clashes with police near the Interior Ministry headquarters in Cairo that killed 42 people less than three months before the soccer melee in Port Said.
Read more:Â http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2268636/Egypt-riots-Twenty-sevendie-court-sentences-21-death-football-violence-killed-74-fans.html#ixzz2JG3UyAjx
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