Egyptian soccer game turns violent, 73 dead

CAIRO (AP) -- Egyptian state TV has raised the death toll to 73 after fans of rival soccer teams rushed the field, hurling stones and sticks at each other and sparking a stampede.

State TV cited the Health Ministry and says 1,000 other people were injured in Wednesday's melee.

A medical official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information, says some of the dead were security officers. Egypt's state prosecutor has ordered an immediate investigation into the causes of the deaths. Witnesses say most appeared to have occurred in a stampede after fans of the home team, Al-Masry, stormed on to the field following a rare 3-1 win against Al-Ahly, Egypt's top team. They then chased players and fans from the rival team.

The players were later taken to the locker room for protection, Sayed Hamdi, a player told state TV.

Soon after the violence, a soccer game in the Cairo Stadium between the Al-Ismailiya and Zamalek teams was called off in mourning for the violence in Port Said.

State TV showed video of sections of the Cairo stadium on fire. The announcer said angry fans of the Zamalek protested the cancellation and set some sections of the stadium on fire.


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