Egypt: Football match turns bloody; 73 dead, scores injured

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Egypt
Cairo, Feb 2: What started as a spirited football match ended up in bloody violence when irate fans indulged in violence resulting in the death of as many as 73 people. The incident happened in northeastern Egypt, when Port Said city's team el-Masry beat the most popular el-Ahly three to zero in an Egyptian league match.

The fans of the rival teams started pelting stones at each other. Security officials claimed that the violence erupted as soon as the referee blew the final whistle. Fans of Al-Masri, which beat Al-Ahly 3-0, invaded the pitch and began to throw rocks, bottles and fireworks at the Al-Ahly fans.

According to local television reports, Egypt's military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi has sent two military planes to Port Said to fly out the players and the injured. MP Essam al-Erian in a statement on the Islamist group's Freedom and Justice Party website has been quoted as saying, "The events in Port Said are planned and are a message from the remnants of the former regime."

There are reports that suggest security was scant in such a large crowd puller football match. Medical authorities have stated that most of the deaths were a result of stab wounds. There are high chances that the number of dead could rise. According to reports on Nile TV, posters that insulted Al-Masri team carried by el- Ahly supporters triggered the clash.

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