by Mahmoud Fouly
CAIRO, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- After Egyptian court sentenced 21 convicts, involved in killing dozens of Cairo soccer fans in Port Said last year, to death on Saturday, thousands of people rallied in the capital Cairo and Port Said, leading to clashes that left 30 killed and over 300 others injured.
In February 2012, 74 people were killed in tragic riots at Port Said Stadium following a soccer match between Port Said's al-Masry and Cairo's al-Ahly teams. Afterwards, 73 people, including nine top security officials, were arrested.
After the verdict on Saturday, family members of the victims in Cairo came out of the court with tears, joined by "Ultras Ahlawy," a group of soccer fans who had vowed earlier to die for the retaliation for their murdered fellows.
"Judiciary proved to be fair and honorable," father of Youssef Hamada, a victim of the riot, told Xinhua. "We praise the presiding judge who comforted all the people, and we thank God for the honorable judiciary of Egypt."
After leaving the court, family members of the victims joined the rally of al-Ahly fans outside the club headquarters in downtown Cairo.
Mohamed, a 29-year-old soccer fan, said that a lot of other people should be tried, including Port Said governor and security officials.
After the verdict, many soccer fans rallied in iconic Tahrir Square, regardless of nearby clashes between protestors and security men around the parliament headquarters. One day ago, clashes between protesters and security forces in nationwide demonstrations marking the second anniversary of Egypt's political upheaval have left seven people killed and 456 injured.
In Port Said, clashes erupted Saturday between security men and relatives of the 21 convicts sentenced to death, as the latter attempted to break into Port Said Prison to release their fellows.
Afterwards, angry people took to the streets of Port Said, blocked traffic, broke into police stations and attacked some public and private properties, which led to clashes that killed at least 30 and injured over 300.
"The Ministry of Health sent air ambulances to Port Said to move the seriously wounded people to hospitals in Cairo," the ministry spokesman Ahmed Omar told Xinhua.
Furious protestors in Port Said also attacked various government institutions, which made the armed forces deploy its troops to protect vital facilities in the city.
President Mohamed Morsi has held lengthy meetings with top officials to discuss methods to contain the situation, after which the National Defense Council announced the possibility of imposing a curfew or a state of emergency in uncontrollable areas of violent confrontations.