Bloody violence sparked by football verdicts jolts Egypt

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Updated 27 January 2013
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Bloody violence sparked by football verdicts jolts Egypt

PORT SAID: Street clashes killed at least 30 people in Egypt’s Port Said yesterday after 21 supporters of a local football club were sentenced to death over a bloody stadium riot in the canal city.
The violence comes a day after nine were killed in protests against President Muhammad Mursi on the second anniversary of Egypt’s uprising against predecessor Hosni Mubarak.
Minutes after a Cairo court handed down the sentences against fans of Port Said side Al-Masry over the deaths of 74 people during post-match violence last February, protesters rampaged through the city, attacking police stations and setting tires alight.
Relatives of those condemned tried to storm the prison in Port Said where they are being held, leading to fierce clashes with security forces.
Unidentified assailants used automatic weapons against police who responded with tear gas, witnesses said.
At least 30 people died and 312 were wounded, the Health Ministry said, with the Interior Ministry saying two policemen were among those killed. Medics told AFP all the fatalities were from gunfire.
Crowds stormed two police stations as heavy gunfire crackled through the city, where shops and businesses had closed.
Ambulances ferried the injured to hospitals and mosques urged worshippers to donate blood.
The army, which earlier deployed troops to restore calm, managed to control vital public buildings, including the prison, banks and courts, witnesses said. Clashes also erupted in the nearby canal city of Suez, where at least eight people were killed in fighting on Friday.
Amid the spreading unrest, the opposition threatened to boycott upcoming parliamentary polls if Mursi does not find a “comprehensive solution” to the unrest.
In Cairo yesterday, both inside and outside the court, there were explosions of joy at the verdict. Women ululated, relatives hugged each other and shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest).
The court handed its verdict to Egypt’s top cleric for his final opinion, as is customary, and set March 9 for verdicts on another 52 defendants, including police officers.


Iraq carries out more air strikes against Daesh in Syria

Updated 25 May 2018
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Iraq carries out more air strikes against Daesh in Syria

  • At least 65 senior Daesh leaders live in Hajjin.
  • Hajjin is in Deir Ezzor province in eastern Syria, about 50 kilometers (just over 30 miles) from Iraq’s border.

BAGHDAD: Iraq announced Friday it had carried out air strikes against Daesh in Syria, the third cross border aerial operation inside a month in its war-torn neighbor.
“Iraqi F-16 planes carried out (Thursday) morning raids against the headquarters of Daesh terrorist gang leaders and an explosives depot occupied by terrorists in Syria’s Hajjin region,” a statement by Iraq’s operations command said.
A video released with the text shows a strike on a huge building surrounded by palm trees and a wall.
The images show the wall and the building collapsing simultaneously.
Several strikes have been carried out by Iraq or the international coalition since Thursday against the center of Hajjin, the last major area held by Daesh in Syria, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.
At least 65 senior Daesh leaders live in Hajjin, the Observatory’s director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
Hajjin is in Deir Ezzor province in eastern Syria, about 50 kilometers (just over 30 miles) from Iraq’s border.
It has been surrounded since the end of 2017 by the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters backed by the United States and France, Abdel Rahman said.
Several hundred prisoners are still held by the militants in Hajjin, he added.
Since April, Iraq’s air force has carried out several air strikes on Daesh held Syrian territory close to the border between the two countries.
Daesh seized a third of Iraq in 2014, before the government declared victory in December, but the military has continued regular operations along the porous Syrian border.