Soccer clashes kill 68 in Egypt

Cairo: At least 68 people were reported to be killed in shocking violence following a soccer match between two popular clubs in Egypt`s Port Said city. Without giving specific figures, Deputy Health Minister Hesham Shiha said in a statement that hundreds were injured.

However, sources among the medics, who had received the bodies said at least 68 people were slain in Wednesday`s violence.

A security official and a medic said fans of the home team, Masry, swarmed the field after a rare 3-1 win against Ahly, Egypt`s top team. They threw stones, fireworks, and bottles at the fans and injured some players.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a medic at a morgue in Port Said said some of the dead were security officers. The exact causes of the deaths were not immediately known.

The security official said fans chased players and cornered their supporters on the field, throwing stones and bottles at them. The players were later taken to the locker room for protection, Sayed Hamdi, a player, told state TV.

"One of the fans died in the dressing room," Ahmed Nagi, an Ahly goalkeeping coach, said on Egyptian state television. "And there are thousands of wounded lying in the hallways," Nagi said.

In another incident, Egyptian state TV footage showed protesters setting fire to the Cairo Stadium after a football match between the Zamalek and Ismailia team.

Zamalek coach decided not to continue the second half of the match after the violent clashes which erupted simultaneously in the Port Said Stadium.