Civil defense forces and firemen try to extinguish a fire at the Police Club in Cairo, capital of Egypt, March 9, 2013. Thousands of Al-Ahly football fans attacked the Police Club and the Egyptian football federation and set them on fire after protesting against the court verdict on the Port Said massacre case. The Port Said Criminal Court sentenced Saturday five people to life imprisonment for their role in the Port Said soccer riots which killed over 70 in February 2012. (Xinhua/Amru Salahuddien)
CAIRO, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of members of a Cairo- based soccer fans group broke into a police club and set it on fire, following a court verdict issued Saturday on the 2012 Port Said soccer riots, Egyptian state TV reported.
Members of the group called Utras Ahlawy stormed the police officers' club near the Ahly soccer club in Cairo, and set the complex on fire, the TV said.
State-run al-Ahram Online quoted a security officer as saying that several premises in the club complex were in flames.
The TV said the flames are still escalating, while eyewitnesses said no fire engines are seen in the scene.
The Ultras Ahlawy group members then blocked a main bridge in downtown Cairo and caused traffic jam on their way to the interior ministry headquarters to continue their protests against what they described as "light sentences" in the Port Said soccer riots case.
In the verdict issued Saturday by Port Said Criminal Court, the court confirmed the death sentence for 21 defendants in the soccer riots case, sentenced two ex-senior police officials to 15 years in prison and acquitted seven others.
Mansour Mahmoud, a 33-year-old member of the group, told Xinhua that "the verdict is politicized, as only two police officers were convicted," adding that the verdict was meant to placate the Ultras.
"Our fight is with the interior ministry," Mahmoud said, ruling out the possibility for their confrontation with the armed forces.
The crowds of the Ultras made it difficult for 20 fire engines to reach the blazing scene, while the fans repeatedly chanted, " The government should fears us!"
Eyewitnesses told Xinhua that residents of nearby areas used garden water hoses in an attempt to help extinguish the flames.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered sending two military helicopters to participate in putting out the fire, MENA reported.
CAIRO, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of members of a Cairo- based soccer fans group called Utras Ahlawy broke into the police stadium in front of Ahly club, following a court verdict which confirmed the death sentence for 21 Port Said riot defendants, TV reported Saturday.
Several buildings in a police officers' club complex were in flames as the soccer fans stormed and set fire to the buildings, a security officer told state-run Ahram online. Full story