Were 'Infiltrators' Responsible For Egypt's Deadly Soccer Fan Violence?
In Port Said, Egypt, more than 70 people were killed after violence erupted at the end of a Wednesday night soccer match. But some are already asking whether the authorities, trying to reassert control after the Arab spring movement, may have played a rol
PORT SAID — Local residents in this northern coastal city are adamant that the violence at Wednesday's football match here was caused by infiltrators, not hardcore local football fans. More than 70 people died and at least 300 were injured in the melee that erupted when the match ended.
On Thursday, a handful of supporters of the Masry Football Club, which beat Cairo's Ahly 3-1 before the violence began, desribed the previous night's events as the premeditated work of infiltrators taking advantage of a deliberately orchestrated security vacuum. The fans said the gate between the stands and the pitch was left open. But the exit to the area where Ahly fans were sitting was kept closed, they claimed.
Thousands of people gathered outside the Port Said governor's headquarters by late afternoon, chanting, "Port Said is innocent!" and "This is the truth." The blame security forces for the deadly violence.
"This is a conspiracy. We wouldn't do this to our brothers," said Mohamed Abdel Fattah, standing outside of the governor's office. "The Ahly supporters were predominantly from Port Said. My brother was one of them. Port Said is sad today; all residents of the city are sad and feel as if their own relatives have died."
News emerged from the People's Assembly Thursday that the Port Said governor resigned in response to the tragedy.
Read the full story by Abdel-Rahman Hussein in Al-Masry Al-Youm
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