After Port Said verdict, clashes leave at least 28 dead
Smoke billows from a burning minibus belonging to a satellite channel after it was set on fire by Egyptian protesters outside the Port Said prison in the Egyptian canal city on Saturday (Photo courtesy of AFP)
Clashes erupt between angry protesters and security forces surrounding the Port Said General Prison after a court announces a death sentence to 21 local football fans convicted of attacking and killing opposition Ahly fans during a match. Two police officers and 26 civilians so far have been killed and over 300 injured in the clashes since the verdict was read Saturday morning.
The head of Port Said Hospital directorate, Abdel Rahman Farah, updated Ahram Online claiming: "There are many more severely wounded...which means that the death toll can rise within the coming hours."
Security forces fired tear gas to disperse the angry crowd, mainly family members, trying to break into the prison with rocks and firearms. All of the accused are in prisons, except for five policemen that were present in the courtroom as the judge announced the verdict.
Protesters are currently surrounding the morgue.
Other protesters stormed, looted and set the police dorms on fire located in front of the hospital.
A police station was torched and a minibus that belonged to one of the media channels was set on fire.
Army forces have been deployed in the Suez Canal area in Port-Said coastal city.
Egypt's railway authority announces that trains will stop at Ismailiya, the major station before Port Said, to avoid getting into the area with clashes.
Angry residents of Port Said have blocked the Ismailiya Port-Said highway.
Crying and screaming rang throughout the streets of the coastal city when the death sentences were announced.
Seventy-three defendants, including nine security officials, three Masry football club officials and a number of fans are on trial for their suspected role in Egypt's worst-ever football tragedy, where more than 70 people died.
Twenty one have been given the death sentence. The trial of the remaining defendants will be looked into on 9 March.
New evidence was submitted last week requiring further investigation into the case.
Despite the anger that the verdict triggered in Port Said, news of the verdict was received with cheers and fireworks by members of Ultras Ahlawy protesting outside the Ahly club in Cairo's Zamalek district.
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