Port Said massacre a conspiracy by security, say Ultras eyewitnesses

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CAIRO: Ahly’s soccer fan club Ultras Ahlawy said Thursday that the attack on them in Port Said by fans of home team Al-Masry, which left 74 dead and hundreds injured, was premeditated by police and army forces.

"Since we first arrived in the city and we smelled something wrong in the air," member of Ultras Ahlawy, also known as UA07, Mohammed Ali, 30, told Daily News Egypt.

"Al-Masry team fans stormed the track surrounding the field more than once during the game but police forces only pushed them away without arresting anyone, even though they were throwing flares at us," Ali said.

He said that right after the end of the match over 25,000 Al-Masry fans flooded the field and ran towards the bleachers of the UA07 who were only about 500.

"Police forces opened the gates of the bleachers to Al-Masry, some of them used knives, threw stones and fired birdshot at us," Ali said.

He said that some of the assailants shoved the Ahly fans off the highest bleachers, corroborating medical reports that some of the victims were killed because of broken skulls resulting from falls from an elevated spot.

Another member of UA07 Ahmed Ghaffar tweeted his testimony about the bloody confrontations.

"Our train was pelted with rocks in Ismailia but we are used to that. It’s normal for the train or bus to be attacked when it is on its way from one province to another," Ghaffar said.

"The train broke down so we got out at a station right before Port Said to take the bus because we knew that they prepared an ambush for us at the train station," he said.

Ghaffar said the rock throwing never stopped even as they reached Port Said.

"When we saw these numbers coming towards the bleachers, we knew we wouldn’t be able to deal with them, so we started running towards the hallways to reach the stadium exits. These hallways should have been opened for us to leave but they were closed by the army from the outside," Ghaffar said.

"The area between the doors of these hallways and the main exit gates had army soldiers and we were locked in. We were not even able to escape. We were besieged in the hallway and we had two choices; either die inside or outside because even if were able to make it outside the people of Port Said were waiting for us there at the main gate," he said.

Ghaffar said that some of them didn’t run, and so they were killed in the stampede.

"Most injuries are fractures, wounds from rocks, glass and burns from the fireworks and many suffocation cases," he added.

Ali said that army forces intervened very late when the massacre had already ended to clear the field from the remnants of Al-Masry fans.

"A 14-year-old boy was killed. How does his family feel? They sent him to enjoy a game and he was brought back to them in a coffin," Ali said, in tears.



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