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Egypt’s Port Said Canal Headquarters Evacuated Amid Fan Protest

Egypt’s Port Said Canal Headquarters Evacuated Amid Fan Protest
Thousands of Egyptians protested in the Suez Canal city of Port Said, as they demanded justice for dozens of people killed in clashes with police in late January after a court sentenced 21 people from the city to death over a deadly football riot last year. Source: AFP via Getty Images

Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Hundreds of protesters laid siege to the Port Authority headquarters in the Egyptian city of Port Said, forcing workers to evacuate amid concern there will be a repeat of violence over the past month that left dozens dead.

About 300 supporters of the al-Masry football club marched on the building, the state-run Ahram Gate website reported. The protesters called on Port Authority workers to join them, leading management to evacuate all personnel, the website said.

More than 30 people were killed in unrest that erupted in Port Said on Jan. 26 after a court sentenced 21 people to death on charges connected to clashes between fans of al-Masry and al-Ahly football clubs in February 2012. The latest violence prompted President Mohamed Mursi to declare a 30-day state of emergency and a curfew in Port Said and two other canal provinces. The curfew has since been lifted.

Most of those sentenced to death were either supporters of al-Masry or from Port Said. Residents say the men were scapegoats and have warned of retribution. More than 70 people were killed in the stadium, mostly al-Ahly fans.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tarek El-Tablawy in Cairo at teltablawy@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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