Egypt soccer riots continue

Rumours spreading that police encouraged stadium melee to escalate

Egypt’s ‘ultras’—soccer fans who played a key role in demonstrations that toppled Hosni Mubarak last year—continued to riot Friday amid rumours police had purposefully allowed violence to spiral out of control at a match earlier this week.

More than 70 people were killed in a post-game riot in Port Said on Wednesday. Fans were quick to blame security forces for failing to contain the mayhem. Many now believe the officers were exacting revenge on the increasingly political ultras.

The New York Times says the rumours are “impossible to confirm.” But one player interviewed by the Guardian says he saw police urge fans to come onto the field. He also claims to have seen people with “knives and swords” in the melee. (Security rule of thumb: If someone can sneak a sword into your event, your security sucks.)

At least four people have died in the post-riot riots, which have seen protestors in Cairo and other spots rioting against police to demonstrate how angry they are that police failed to stop the earlier riot.  (Got that?) Politicians meanwhile, have been quick to try to harness the crowd’s anger.

New York Times


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