Egypt mourns deaths amid calls to fire interior minister
Egypt started three days of mourning on Thursday after 74 people died in clashes following a soccer match last night. The riots in the northern city of Port Said marked Egypt's deadliest incident in football history and sent shares on the Cairo stock exchange plunging 2.14 percent on Thursday.
The government was quick to fire the Port Said security chief while Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzuri summoned his cabinet for an emergency meeting later Thursday.
On his part, Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim has said most of the deaths were caused by the crush but medics said some people were stabbed.
The clashes were blamed by the Muslim Brotherhood on supporters of toppled president Hosni Mubarak.
State television said Egypt’s military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi sent two military planes to fly out the players and the injured from Port Said late Wednesday. He stressed that the country’s security “is fine” as he waited at a Cairo airport to meet the players and wounded fans.
Politicians in Cairo expressed anger at the deaths, with newly elected liberal MP Amr Hamzawy calling for the sacking of the interior minister and Port Said’s governor.