UK & World News
Egypt: Rival Football Fans Angry Over Verdicts
A hardcore element of Cairo's Al Ahly fan base have stormed and set fire to Egypt's football headquarters after a court aquitted seven out of nine police officials on trial for their alleged role in a deadly stadium riot.
A nearby police club in the Egyptian capital was also set ablaze - and the mob, known as the Ultras, was said to be marching towards the interior ministry as well, according to state television.
Security was beefed up and riot police deployed in the streets around the complex in central Cairo, as the twin fires sent plumes of thick black smoke billowing out over the city skyline.
A protester was killed in clashes with the police, according to a health official who said the man had suffocated after inhaling tear gas and died in the ambulance.
Several other people were reportedly hurt in the demonstrations.
Hundreds of the club's supporters took to the streets in celebration after a court earlier on Saturday upheld death sentences on 21 Port Said football fans for their role in the stadium riot last year.
Some 74 people were killed and around 1,000 injured at the end of a match between Cairo's Al Ahly and Al Masry, the local side, on February 1.
Spectators were crushed when panicked fans tried to get out the stadium after a pitch invasion by Port Said supporters.
In a live televised ruling, judge Sobhi Abdel-Maguid confirmed "the death penalty by hanging".
Al Ahly fans had warned police they would retaliate if the defendants, including nine policemen, were exonerated.
The city's former security chief, Major General Essam Samak, was jailed for 15 years along with several others, including Brigadier General Mohammed Saad, who during the riot had the keys to the stadium gates, which were locked.
A further five people were also sentenced to life imprisonment for the riot, while 28 others - including seven police officers - were acquitted.
The rest of the 73 defendants involved received shorter prison sentences.
In Port Said, crowds gathered by the Suez Canal to protest against the verdicts.
A military helicopter hovered overhead and army checkpoints were set up on main streets as protesters tried to disrupt shipping on the canal.
"Today's verdict is unfair - we are demanding a fair verdict. This judge is unjust," said Mohamed Al Sayed.
The death sentences - originally handed down in January - have previously provoked deadly clashes in Port Said and Cairo.
The riot - the worst case of football violence in the country and the deadliest worldwide since 1996 - erupted after the home team Al Masry beat Egypt's top club Al Ahly in the league fixture.
Subsequent widespread violence and protests have sparked fresh concerns about Egypt's stability.
Political turmoil is sweeping across the country, with demonstrators demanding concessions from Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, while others want him removed altogether, saying his Muslim Brotherhood is monopolising power.
His government is struggling to halt the slide in law and order, hampered by a strike by some protesting police.
At least eight people have been killed in Port Said this week, including three police officers.