Published: January 27. 2013 4:00AM PST
An Egyptian soccer fan displays scales to demonstrators celebrating a court verdict that returned 21 death penalties for last year’s soccer violence in Cairo on Saturday. In the Egyptian city of Port Said, however, deadly clashes and an attempted jailbreak erupted after the fans were sentenced for killing rivals in a riot last year — underlining the nation’s wider unrest and deepening political schisms.
At least 30 people were reported killed Saturday, including two police officers. Buildings burned and mobs ran through the streets hoisting the wounded and chanting against the government. Concern intensified that protesters would take up weapons smuggled in from Libya and Sudan.
Relatives of the convicted as well as angry young men rampaged through Port Said. Unrest surrounding the second anniversary of Egypt’s revolution also broke out in Cairo and other cities for a third day. The divisive verdict and bloodshed highlight challenges being faced by President Mohammed Morsi, who critics say has failed to carry out promised reforms in the country’s judiciary and police force and made few improvements in the two years after the uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
Saturday’s riot in Port Said stemmed from animosity between police and diehard soccer fans known as Ultras, who also were part of the mass uprising against Mubarak.
Ahmed Ramadan / The Associated Press