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After 74 Soccer Fans Killed, Violent Protests in Cairo

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The governor of Port Said has resigned and the district’s director of security and chief of its detective unit have both been suspended from their posts and detained by police, says state media. Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), has declared three days of national mourning for those who died. The Parliament has also sent a fact-finding committee to Port Said.

 

The Ultras

According to the New York Times, the ultras believe that the Interior Ministry is seeking to retaliate against them for taking a “leading role in several violent battles with police” during the past three months. Fans from rival teams often fight each other though all have “a common culture of obscene chants, special firecrackers and instruments, and a violent hatred of the police who usually try to control them.” The ultras “played an especially pivotal role” in defending Tahrir Square against ousted leader Hosni Mubarak’s supporters in the so-called Battle of the Camels a year ago Thursday, as well as playing a leading role in attacking the Israeli Embassy after a demonstration last September.

The ultras have become “increasingly politicized,” going so far as to call for the death of Tantawi.

Rival teams, including Al Ahly and Zamalek, two of the most popular in Cairo, have joined forces in the recent clashes with police. On Thursday night, the protesters made their way to the barricaded building of the Ministry of the Interior. They pulled away barbed wire and threw stones at police, who responded with tear gas. One blogger said that activists sought to disperse the protests. The Al Ahly ultras have said that they were not responsible for the violence, as they were mourning those killed in Port Said.

Previous Care2 Coverage

Egyptian Comedian Sentenced for Offending Islam

A Year Later, One Cairo Neighborhood Wants Justice

Egyptians Use Graffiti to Reclaim Streets (Slide Show)

 

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Photo taken February 3 by Gigi Ibrahim

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16 comments

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9:19PM PDT on May 14, 2012

Im glad im not a fan of ANY sport ! phewwww !!

2:23AM PST on Feb 5, 2012

The the people who wrote the last 3 comments. Do you actually read the articles or have any background information on the stories you comment on? Your comments are ill-informed and sententious in the extreme.

11:57PM PST on Feb 4, 2012

This is just plain crazy behavior.

9:19PM PST on Feb 4, 2012

These are not football fans just a bunch of goons at football matches, creating trouble. They should not have season tickets.

8:49PM PST on Feb 4, 2012

I truly do not understand the insane level of violence that a GAME causes!

11:23AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

I have never heard of such violence before at soccer matches in Egypt so it does raise the question of why now?

11:16AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

Pooir Bernard C.

Ad hominem attacks and lies and misrepresentations. You think you're funny too, but you're pathetic and everyone can see it.

9:39AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

Oh my John D. what a comedian you are! Man, you should have your own road show with houris, dancing camels and wickedly seductive nanny goats in tutus following you around. Now this soccer punch up is according to your usual faultless intelligence, the fault of those terrible Zionist Jews beating the crap out out of these peaceful soccer loving Egyptians. There is just no peace for you and your righteous (riotous?) brethren is there. By the way, John is a name that is derived from the Hebrew Yôḥanan - surely using a Jewish name must be anathema to a Muslim Brotherhood supporting neo-Nazi?

7:06AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

very sad

6:38AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

Sad story in so many ways.

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