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Egyptians riot after soccer fans sentenced to die

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published January 26, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. Updated January 26, 2013 at 3:43 p.m.

egyptian-soccer-fans-of-al-ahly-club-celebrate-a-court-verdict-that-returned-21-death-penalties-in-last-years-soccer-violence-inside-the-club-premises-in-cairo-egypt-saturday-jan-26-2013-egyptian-security-officials-say-military-to-deploy-in-port-said-after-at-least-8-people-died-in-the-mediterranean-city-of-port-said-after-a-judge-sentenced-21-people-to-death-in-connection-to-one-of-the-worlds-deadliest-incidents-of-soccer-violence-arabic-reads-we-will-never-forget-you

Egyptian soccer fans of Al-Ahly club celebrate a court verdict that returned 21 death penalties in last years soccer violence, inside the club premises in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. Egyptian security officials say military to deploy in Port Said after at least 8 people died in the Mediterranean city of Port Said after a judge sentenced 21 people to death in connection to one of the world's deadliest incidents of soccer violence. Arabic reads, "we will never forget you."

Raw: Anti-government protests in Cairo

Protesters and shop owners near Cairo's Tahrir Square clashed for several minutes before riot police fired tear gas in an attempt of disburse the crowd on Saturday. (By The Associated Press)
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— Relatives and angry young men rampaged through the Egyptian city of Port Said on Saturday in assaults that killed at least 27 people following death sentences for local fans involved in the country’s worst bout of soccer violence.

Unrest surrounding the second anniversary of Egypt’s revolution also broke out in Cairo and other cities for a third day, with protesters clashing for hours with riot police who fired tear gas that encompassed swaths of the capital’s downtown.

The divisive verdict and bloodshed highlight challenges being faced by President Mohammed Morsi, who took office seven months ago following an Egyptian revolution that ousted autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak. Critics say Morsi has failed to carry out promised reforms in the country’s judiciary and police force, and claim little has improved in the two years after the uprising against Mubarak.

The Islamist leader, Egypt’s first freely elected and civilian president, met for the first time with top generals as part of the newly formed National Defense Council to discuss the deployment of troops in two cities. The military was deployed to Port Said hours after the verdict was announced, and warned that a curfew could be declared in areas of unrest. The military was also deployed to the canal city of Suez, where protesters attacked the main security compound there after eight people were killed late Friday.

Saturday’s riot in Port Said stemmed from animosity between police and die-hard soccer fans know as Ultras, who also were part of the mass uprising against Mubarak that began on Jan. 25, 2011, and at forefront of protests against the military rulers who assumed temporary power after his ouster.

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