Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Death toll rises to 17 from clashes in wake of football violence

Egypt Independent
Death toll from clashes in wake of Port Said football violence rises to 17

Wed, 22/02/2012

The Health Ministry on Wednesday announced the death of a protester as a result of injuries incurred during clashes that broke out following the bloody ending of a football match in Port Said. This brings the death toll from the clashes up to 17.

The ministry said that the deceased protester was "receiving treatment at the Suez Public Hospital when he died on Wednesday." The statement did not provide information about the injury or the name of the deceased.

Ten protesters were killed in Cairo and seven were killed in Suez.

The statement added that there are still a few injured protesters receiving medical treatment in Cairo hospitals.

More than 70 people were killed on 1 February when Masry fans flooded the field in Port Said Stadium seconds after the end of a match between the home team and Cairo-based Ahly, the Health Ministry said.

Demonstrations in Suez and at the Interior Ministry in Cairo protested what the demonstrators described as lax security measures during the match.

Eyewitnesses say security was largely absent when Masry fans stormed the field. They also claim that security forces allowed Masry fans to enter the visiting team's stands.

A parliamentary fact-finding committee set up to probe the incident found security forces to blame for the deadly clashes.

The panel's report accused Port Said security of negligence. It said injuries among police personnel did not exceed 10, proving security did not adequately respond to the attacks.

MPs, meanwhile, described the report as "vague" and "insufficient,” saying it failed to point the finger at particular officials.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim fired Port Said's security chief, Essam Samak, and the Egyptian Football Association board was sacked following the incident.

*Photograph by Mohamed Abdel Wahab

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