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Deadly Egypt soccer raid

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CAIRO (AP) - A narrow stadium exit turned into a death trap as crowds of Egyptian soccer fans fled supporters of the opposing team armed with knives, clubs and stones rushed into the corridor, only to be crushed against a locked gate.

Deadly Egypt soccer raid

The result was the world's worst soccer violence in 15 years, with 74 people crushed, suffocated or stabbed to death.

Many Egyptians, from the public to lawmakers, on Thursday blamed the police and the country's ruling military for failing to prevent the rioting the night before in the Mediterranean coastal city of Port Said.

Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri, in an emergency parliamentary session, announced he has dissolved the Egyptian Soccer Federation's board and referred its members for questioning by prosecutors about the violence. He also said the governor of Port Said province and the area's police chief have resigned.

Several lawmakers said the lapse was intentional, aimed at stoking the country's insecurity since the Feb. 11 fall of former leader Hosni Mubarak.

Some accused the police of allowing the riot to happen out of vengeance against the ultras - die-hard soccer fans who are bitter enemies of the police and have been among the most aggressive protesters over the past year.

The ultras, backers of Al-Ahly club, were at the forefront of violent protests a year ago that led to the collapse of the police force, and in more recent months, they have clashed with soldiers during rallies demanding an end to military rule.

In an emergency session, Parliament Speaker Saad el-Katatni, of the Muslim Brotherhood, accused security authorities of hesitating to act, putting "the revolution in danger."

"This is a complete crime," said Abbas Mekhimar, head of parliament's defense committee. "This is part of the scenario of fueling chaos against Egypt."

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