At least 27 people, including two soccer players and two policemen, are dead after angry relatives and residents rampaged through an Egyptian port city Saturday after a judge sentenced nearly two dozen soccer fans to death for involvement in deadly violence after a game last year.
The violence in Port Said erupted after a judge sentenced 21 people to death in connection with the Feb. 1 soccer melee that killed 74 fans of the Cairo-based Al-Ahly team.
Immediately after Saturday’s verdict was read live on state TV, two policemen were shot dead outside Port Said’s main prison when angry relatives tried to storm the facility to free the defendants. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets, as well as live rounds, at the crowd outside the prison.
In other parts of the city, residents tried to storm the governor’s office, police stations, the power station and the main court building. Residents occupied one police station in the east of Port Said.
The director of hospitals in Port Said, Dr. Abdel-Raham Farah, said two local soccer players were shot to death as they were apparently on their way to practice. He identified them as Mahmoud Abdel-Halim al-Dizawi, who played for the city’s Al-Marikh club, and Tamer al-Fahla, who used to play for the city’s main Al-Masry team. Al-Diwazi was shot three times, the doctor said.
The unrest was the latest in a bout of violence that has left a total of 38 people dead in two days, including 11 killed in clashes between police and protesters marking Friday’s second anniversary of the uprising that overthrew longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.
[Information via Associated Press]