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Death sentences in Egyptian soccer violence case spark riot, killing dozens

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Morsi cancelled a scheduled trip to Ethiopia Saturday and instead met for the first time with top generals as part of the newly-formed National Defense Council.

The military was also deployed overnight in the city of Suez after eight people died in clashes between security forces and protesters opposed to Morsi. Another protester was killed in Ismailiya, and security officials told the state news agency MENA that two policemen were killed in Friday's protests, bringing the death toll on the second anniversary of Egypt's uprising to 11.

Judge Sobhi Abdel-Maguid read out the death sentences related to the Feb. 1 riot in Port Said that killed 74 fans of the Cairo-based Al-Ahly team. Defendants' lawyers said all those sentenced were fans of the Port Said team, Al-Masry. Executions in Egypt are usually carried out by hanging.

The judge Saturday said in his statement read live on state TV that he would announce the verdict for the remaining 52 defendants on March 9.

Among those on trial are nine security officials, but none were handed sentences Saturday, lawyers and security officials say.

Fans of al-Ahly, whose stands were attacked by rival club Al-Masry in the Feb. 1 incident in Port Said, had promised more violence if the accused did not receive death sentences. In the days leading up to the verdict, Al-Ahly fans warned of bloodshed and "retribution". Hundreds of Al-Ahly fans gathered outside the Cairo sports club in anticipation of the verdict, chanting against the police and the government.

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