Massive Riot During Soccer Match in Egypt Leaves Over 70 Dead

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A massive riot broke out between rival fans at a soccer match in Cairo, Egypt.  At least 1,000 people were injured in the clashes, 150 of them critically, spokesman Dr. Hisham Shiha said. Most of them had concussions and deep cuts, he said.  The fighting occurred in a stadium in the northeastern city of Port Said after Al-Ahly team beat Port Said's Al-Masry team 3-1. 

Fans from both sides bashed each other with rocks and chairs, said Mohamed Sultan, head of the ambulance association in Port Said.  Rescuers treated 60 people on the ground, he said, and dozens of ambulances were at the stadium. Authorities have been dispatched to hospitals to interview the wounded and investigate what caused the clashes, said Adel Saeed, a spokesman for Egypt's general prosecutor.

Witnesses said trouble broke out when Ahli fans unfurled banners insulting Port Said and an Ahli supporter descended onto the pitch carrying an iron bar. Al-Masry fans reacted by pouring onto the pitch and attacking Ahli players. They then turned to the terraces to attack Ahli supporters.

Violence at football matches across north Africa has increased significantly since political unrest began sweeping the region more than a year ago, and one player described Wednesday's riot as "a war, not football."

Angry politicians and sports officials decried a lack of security at the match between Port Said team al-Masry and Al Ahli, one of Egypt's most successful clubs, and blamed the nation's leaders for allowing, or even causing the tragedy.

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