Death Toll Rises In Wake Of Egypt Riots After Court Sentences 21 Fans To Death
The conviction of 21 people responsible for last year's mass football riot in Port Said, Egypt prompted clashes to flare anew in the "turbulent" city on Sunday, "killing at least three more people as a mass funeral was held for most of the 37 people who died during intense riots in the city a day earlier," according to Mossad El-Gohary of the AP. Violence in the city erupted on Saturday after a court "convicted and sentenced 21 defendants to death" for their roles in the football riot at Port Said stadium on Feb. 1, which left 74 dead. Most of those sentenced to death were local football fans from Port Said. The riots "stemmed mostly from animosity" between police and die-hard Egyptian football fans, known as Ultras, who have become "highly politicized" (AP, 1/27). In London, Heba Saleh reported football fans suspect the police of having "deliberately allowed the massacre to happen as an act of vengeance against the Ultras who have often fought them on the side of protesters during two years of political unrest" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 1/26).