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Egypt sentences 11 to death over bloody soccer riots

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-19 19:51

CAIRO -- An Egyptian court on Sunday sentenced 11 people to death over bloody riots during a soccer game in Port Said city in February 2012, state-run MENA news agency reported.

Port Said Criminal Court decided to refer the papers of the 11 defendants implicated in the Port Said stadium massacre to the Grand Mufti, the country's interpreter of religious law, to take his opinion about their death sentences.

As many as 73 people, including nine security officials, were arrested right after the incident.

In March 2013, the court confirmed death sentences for 21 of them and sentenced five others to life imprisonment.

The court also acquitted 28 others, including seven senior security officials.

However, the Court of Cassation ordered a retrial in February 2014 after accepting appeals by both the Public Prosecution and defendants.

Some 72 fans were killed and 254 others injured in Egypt's worst ever violent soccer riots that erupted at the end of a game between local Al Ahly and Port Said-based Al Masry clubs in February of 2012 in the Suez Canal city.

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