Dozens Dead After 21 Convicted in Egyptian Soccer Trial Riots

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Dozens Dead After 21 Convicted in Egyptian Soccer Trial Riots

Second deadly day in Egypt marking unresolved tensions of the country's revolution

Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

A protester opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi walks near burning barricades while fleeing from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes along Mohamed Mahmoud street near Tahrir Square in Cairo January 25, 2013. (Reuters /Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

At least 30 people have been killed in the Egyptian city of Port Said Saturday in clashes that erupted over the sentencing of 21 people to death regarding last year's deadly soccer stadium riot. The fighting follows a day of deadly protests that marked the second anniversary of the country's unresolved revolution.

On Saturday, Morsi called on the Egyptian military to "establish calm and stability" in Port Said; however, the day's death toll was still expected to rise.

The 21 convicted men were the first to be sentenced for their alleged involvement in the deaths of 74 people in the chaos that erupted after a local soccer match on February 1, 2012. Family and friends of the convicted men expressed outrage throughout the day, claiming they had been wrongfully accused.

Gunshots were reported near the prison where most of the defendants were being held, as protesters took to the streets immediately after the verdict. Two police were shot dead when the protesters, who say residents of the town have been unfairly scapegoated for the incident, attempted to break into the prison and free the defendants, Associated Press reports.

Police fired tear gas, rubber bullets, and live rounds at the crowd outside the prison, killing at least 14, security officials stated.

Judge Sobhi Abdel-Maguid said in a statement that he would announce the verdict for the remaining 52 defendants, and explain his decision to impose the death sentence, on 9 March.

On Friday, at least seven protesters died and 379 were injured across the country in the day of protests which resulted in clashes between police and pro- and anti- Morsi groups.

Early Saturday, President Mohamed Morsi also sent in the military to Suez where multiple demonstrators and one soldier were killed, Al Jazeera reports.



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