Egypt Soccer Riot Kills at Least 20

Cause of the violence isn't immediately clear
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 8, 2015 3:13 PM CST
Updated Feb 8, 2015 3:16 PM CST
Fans of Egypt's Zamalek soccer team flock in droves outside the Air Defense Stadium in a suburb east of Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015.   (AP Photo/Ahmed Abd El-Gwad, El Shorouk newspaper)
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(Newser) – A riot broke out today outside of a major soccer game in Egypt, with fighting between police and fans killing at least 20 people, security officials said. The riot, only three years after similar violence killed 74 people, began ahead of a match between Egyptian Premier League clubs Zamalek and ENPPI at Air Defense Stadium east of Cairo. Such attacks in the past have sparked days of violent protests pitting the country's hard-core fans against police officers in a nation already on edge after years of revolt and turmoil. Three security officials said some people died during a stampede, while others died in clashes with police. They spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren't authorized to speak to journalists.

What caused the violence wasn't immediately clear. Security officials said Zamalek fans tried to force their way into the match without tickets, sparking clashes. Zamalek fans, known as "White Knights," posted on their group's official Facebook page that the violence began because authorities only opened one narrow, barbed-wire door to let them in. They said that sparked pushing and shoving that later saw police officers fire tear gas and birdshot. The group later posted pictures on Facebook it claimed were of dead fans, including the names of 22 people it said had been killed. The AP could not immediately verify the images, nor their casualty count.

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