CAIRO - Egyptian soldiers and police clashed with thousands of angry soccer fans in Port Said over the suspension of their club following a deadly riot last month, witnesses said on Saturday. A medical official said a teenager was killed.
The riot on February 1 in the Suez Canal city, in which at least 73 people died, was the world's worst soccer-related disaster in 15 years. The causes remain murky. Officers have been charged with assisting Port Said soccer fans to attack supporters of Cairo club Al-Ahly who had a long history of enmity with the police, and some port residents have claimed that hired outsiders were responsible for much of the killing.
In the latest clashes - which erupted late Friday and continued until early Saturday - Egyptian troops fired volleys of tear gas and shot into the air to disperse protesters affiliated with Port Said's Al-Masry club, angry for what they see as unfair measures against their club and their city. Witnesses said protesters set fire to tires, blocked major roads and then gathered in front of the Suez Canal's main administrative building in an attempt to storm it. Soldiers and police cordoned off the building.
The official said teenager Belal Mamdouh was killed with a gunshot to the back while 25 were injured, mostly because of breathing difficulties from tear gas. He spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
The clashes erupted after the Egyptian Football Association on Friday officially suspended Al-Masry for two seasons ending 2013, and closed its stadium for three years as punishment for the stadium riot.
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