Top of the Morning: Egypt Soccer Stadium Tragedy, Boko Haram Spokesperson Nabbed

Top stories from DAWNS Digest.
At Least 78 Killed in Egypt Soccer Stadium Clash

Political tensions and soccer hooliganism came together in a deadly crush yesterday. “The melee at the stadium in Port Said erupted when Al-Masry fans stormed the field following a rare 3-1 win against Al-Ahly. Al-Masry supporters, armed with knives, sticks and stones, chased players and fans from the rival team, Al-Ahly, who ran toward the exits and up the stands to escape, according to witnesses. CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reports the police on duty at the Port Said game are even being accused by some of colluding in the violence. They seemed to do nothing to prevent the home team fans from flooding onto the field, and there may be an explanation in Egypt’s recent history. The Cairo team’s fans – known as ‘Ultras’ – were heavily involved in Egypt’s street revolution, which toppled the regime of long-time strongman Hosni Mubarak last year. Now, conspiracy theories suggesting the police and army might have allowed the Ultras to come under attack in Port Said as retaliation for their involvement in the uprising are sweeping across Egypt, and making the security forces the focus of even greater public anger. (CBS

Boko Haram Spokesperson is Nabbed

Well, that’s one down. ‘“We’ve arrested Abu Qaqa, the so-called spokesman of the Boko Haram sect and one of its leaders,’ Ahmed Abdullahi, director of the State Security Service, or SSS, in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, said yesterday by phone. A joint operation by agents from the SSS, a plain clothes unit charged with state security, and the military led to Qaqa’s capture yesterday in Maiduguri, Abdullahi said, changing an earlier statement the arrest was made in the city of Kaduna. He gave no further details. Boko Haram, whose name means ‘Western education is a sin,’ claimed responsibility for blasts that struck eight government buildings on Jan. 20 in Kano, the biggest city in northern Nigeria, killing at least 250 people, according to rights group Civil Rights Congress. A spokesman for the insurgents, who gave his name as Abu Qaqa, told reporters by phone on Jan. 21 they carried out the attack to avenge the persecution of its members in the city.” (Businessweek