Fighting halted in Egypt soccer clashes

Feb. 5, 2012 at 11:30 AM
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CAIRO, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Egyptian security forces Sunday erected walls blocking areas near Cairo's Tahrir Square, quieting protests stemming from a deadly stampede at a soccer game.

Riot police fired rubber bullets at protesters as the walls were built, bisecting streets that had been central battlegrounds between security forces and demonstrators calling for an end to military rule, The New York Times reported.

Twelve protesters have been killed since Thursday when fighting began in reaction to police failing to prevent a deadly soccer riot in Port Said Wednesday night. At least 74 people, mostly al-Ahly fans, were stabbed, beaten and crushed to death when extremist al-Masry fans rushed the soccer field at the end of the game and attacked al-Ahly supporters with knives and metal bars, spectators said.

In a move many activists point to as proof of an orchestrated police conspiracy, guards cut the stadium lights just as the violence began and then closed the stadium's exit gates, trapping escaping fans, witnesses told The Wall Street Journal.

In response to the violence, a civilian advisory council advised Saturday that Egypt's military rulers move up the transfer of power by one or two months and expedite the country's planned presidential elections.

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