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Egypt: Grief and anger after deadly football riot

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Egypt: Grief and anger after deadly football riot


Horror stories on the front pages reflect the shock that Egypt is feeling.

This was a national tragedy as well as a football tragedy and for some the pain is personal.

Fans gathered at al Ahli’s headquarters in Cairo, including supporters present at the match.

“I swear to God, I saw people being thrown off the stadium steps,” said one witness. “There was a young man named Islam, who was 17-years-old, standing next to me and then suddenly he was lying with a skewer in his head, and his eye was blown out of the other side of his head.”

Port Said’s head of security should be held to account, another fan said, asking: “Isn’t he in charge of security and in charge of our safety?”

He posed the question to Egypt’s Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri: “What if one of your relatives was thrown off the fourth tier like we were? Are you going to let the security chief sit in his air-conditioned room or will he be held to account?”

A crowd gathered at Cairo’s main railway station, hoping to see relatives returning from the game. As covered bodies were unloaded from trains, thousands chanted “Down with military rule”.

Three days of national mourning have been declared. Some people were still looking for missing relatives the day after.

“My son has not answered his phone since yesterday,” said one distraught woman outside the station. “I want to know where he is. I don’t care about anything else.”

Asked what he is called, she made a desperate plea for information.

“His name is Suleiman Ahmed al-Shabouri. Film me so he can see it. He is 18-year- old, and please, please help look for him. He’s from Cairo. Please, I beg you, help me find my son.”

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