1 Killed, 68 Wounded in Egypt Football Clashes

Posted March 24th, 2012 at 4:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Fresh clashes between Egyptian soldiers and thousands of angry football fans in the northern city of Port Said, on the Mediterranean coast, have left one teenager dead and 68 others wounded.

Large-scale protests began late Friday after the Egyptian Football Association said the Al-Masry club would be banned for two seasons and Port Said Stadium closed for three years in response to the deadly riot at last month's game against rival Al-Ahly in which 74 people died. Protesters also denounced what they said was a media smear campaign against their club.

Violence continued into Saturday, with security officials firing shots into the air to disperse the angry crowd blocking roads, which caused widespread traffic jams.

The teenager was reportedly shot in the back, though further details about the incident were not immediately available.

The violence originally erupted on February 1 on the Al-Masry playing field moments after the final whistle in a league match between Egypt's most popular club, Al-Ahly, from Cairo and Al-Masry.

Witnesses said security officials stood by as supporters of the winning home team, Al-Masry, attacked fans of the opposing team, stabbing them and throwing them off bleachers. Panicked fans rushed for the exits and some were crushed against locked gates.

Three club officials and nine senior police officers are among 75 people facing trial over the violence on February 1, in the deadliest worldwide football incident since 1996.