Published On: Sat, Mar 17th, 2012

Egypt charges 75 people in deadly soccer riot

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CAIRO: Egypt’s top prosecutor on Thursday charged 75 people in connection with a deadly soccer riot last month in the Mediterranean city of Port Said in which authorities said fans were thrown to their death off the stadium walls and others killed by explosives as they tried to flee.

Scores of fans face murder charges and nine police officers were accused of complicity in murder, in the Feb. 1 riot that left at least 74 people dead. It was the world’s worst soccer-related disaster in 15 years.

The riot began minutes after the final whistle in a league game between Cairo club al-Ahly and al-Masry of Port Said. The home side won 3-1 but its fans set upon the rival supporters in a killing frenzy that witnesses said lasted 30 minutes. Many witnesses claimed that policemen at the venue did nothing to stop the bloodshed. The riot shocked soccer crazy Egypt, deepening the sense of uncertainty felt by many as their nation continues to be roiled by unrest a year after the ouster of longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak.–Agencies

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