The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

January 26, 2013

16 die in Egypt riot after soccer violence verdict

(Continued)

"The police are thugs!" yelled relatives of the deceased inside the courtroom before the judge took the bench.

As is customary in Egypt, the death sentences will be sent to the nation's top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, for approval, though the court has final say on the matter.

All of the defendants — who were not present in the courtroom Saturday for security reasons — have the right to appeal the verdict.

The melee was the world's deadliest soccer violence in 15 years.

The Ultras are proud of their hatred for the police, who were the backbone of Mubarak's authoritarian rule. They then then directed their chants against the military rulers who took over after Mubarak's ouster.

Ultras from several Egyptian sports clubs were engaged in deadly clashes with police near the Interior Ministry headquarters in Cairo that killed 42 people less than three months before the soccer melee in Port Said.

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