From killing to kidnapping: Egypt riots rage

 

Cairo

The fury unleashed by the deaths of 74 people at a football
match in Port Said spread across Egypt yesterday, with at least six
people killed in rioting in Cairo and Suez in the east, and 1,500
hurt.

In the capital, hundreds of protesters hurled stones at ranks of riot police camped just 50 yards from the Interior Ministry. One civilian was shot dead at close range just in front of the ministry, the hated symbol of Mubarak-era abuses which many blame for the bloodbath in Port Said on Wednesday. A policeman was reportedly among those killed in yesterday's clashes.

Two civilians were killed in Suez when they were struck by live ammunition as police tried to prevent a crowd from breaking into the local police station, health officials said.

The rioting yesterday in Cairo was led by a group known as Ultras, hardcore football supporters whose members were among those killed when hooligans stormed the pitch in Port Said. They joined thousands of other activists who descended on the capital demanding an end to the ruling military council.

"What happened on Wednesday night was a crime," said Alaa Ali Osman, who travelled hundreds of miles from the Red Sea coast to Tahrir Square yesterday. "It wasn't an accident, it was planned."

There was further speculation in the Egyptian press yesterday about the causes of the disaster. An article in the Egypt Independent, an online paper, quoted residents from Port Said who said large numbers of unidentified "infiltrators" gained access to the stadium before the match started. Football supporters from the home side said many of those present on the night were not regular fans – a claim backed up by some of the Ultras targeted during the riot.

It feeds into a narrative being pursued by some MPs and commentators, who allege that police deliberately allowed the disaster to happen, or even orchestrated it by deploying networks of thugs and criminals.

There has been little evidence to back up these claims and the Interior Minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, yesterday blamed fans for the disaster. Nevertheless, the conspiracy theories have stoked further violence and anger in a country struggling with deteriorating security since the toppling of former president Hosni Mubarak in February last year.

Elsewhere yesterday, in the Sinai Peninsula, two female American tourists and their Egyptian guide were kidnapped by Bedouin gunmen. The trio were snatched near St Catherine's Monastery, the pilgrimage site at the foot of Mount Sinai, as they made their way back to Sharm el-Sheikh. Tribal leaders in the region later negotiated their release, but the incident will further harm efforts to entice tourists back to Egypt.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy