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An Egyptian criminal court from the Mediterranean city of Port Said on Tuesday sentenced 11 people to death over a 2012 soccer riot that killed more than 70 people and injured hundreds in what was Egypt's worst soccer disaster to date and one of the world's deadliest.

The verdict, read by presiding judge Mohammed el-Said, came at the end of the retrial of 73 defendants in a case that sparked deadly riots in 2013 in Port Said, prompting then-President Mohammed Morsi to declare a state of emergency in the city.

The court also sentenced 40 defendants to up to 15 years in prison and acquitted the rest. The verdicts can be appealed.

The hearings in the case, including the sentencing on Tuesday, were held in Cairo, not in Port Said, for security reasons.

The earlier trial ended in March 2013, when 21 defendants were sentenced to death, while others received jail terms that ranged from one to 25 years in prison. Twenty-eight were acquitted. The rulings were appealed and a retrial was ordered by Egypt's Court of Cassation in February last year.

The February 2012 riot began at the end of a league match in Port Said between Cairo's Al-Ahly, Egypt's most successful club, and home side Al-Masry. The riot led to the temporary suspension of Egypt's top flight soccer league. The league later resumed, but with matches played in empty stadiums.


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