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Egypt recalls ambassador from Algeria over football violence

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-20

Egypt has recalled its ambassador to Algeria for consultation following attacks on Egyptian football fans and businesses in Sudan, after Algeria beat Egypt in a 2010 World Cup qualifier play-off.

AFP - Egypt recalled its ambassador in Algeria for consultations on Thursday after attacks against Egyptian football fans in Sudan and businesses in Algiers, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.
  
An Egyptian foreign ministry official confirmed to AFP that the ambassador was recalled for "consultations". Earlier in the day, Egypt summoned the Algerian ambassador in Cairo to protest against the disturbances.
  
The foreign ministry said that it informed the ambassador of "Egypt's extreme displeasure with the assaults on Egyptian citizens who went to Khartoum to support the Egyptian team."
  
It was the second summons in a week for ambassador Abdel Qader Haggar, who was called to the foreign ministry last week after Algerian fans attacked Egyptian businesses and homes in Algiers.
  
"Egypt also expressed its outrage and it denunciation after continuing reports and many appeals from Egyptian citizens residing in Algeria over the assaults and intimidation they face," the statement said.
  
Khartoum police spokesman Abdel Majid al-Tayeb played down the level of violence after the game in which Egypt were defeated 1-0 and lost the chance to advance to the World Cup finals in South Africa next year.
  
"There were minor incidents, four people were lightly wounded," Tayeb told a press conference.
  
But Egyptian fans told AFP that stones were thrown at their bus as they made their way back to Khartoum airport after the loss which followed a 2-0 victory in Cairo on Saturday.
  
In an interview with state television, Egyptian Health Minister Hatem al-Gabali said 21 Egyptians were injured in attacks in Sudan.
  
"There were 21 injured... All of them are considered minor injuries," he said.
  
Before the match in Cairo, several Algerian footballers were hurt after the team bus was stoned on the way from the airport to the team hotel.
  
A similar fate befell some visiting supporters after Egypt won the game, leaving the teams neck and neck in their qualifying group and triggering the replay in Khartoum.
  
People then took to the streets in Algiers, attacking 15 offices belonging to a local subsidiary of Egypt's Orascom Telecom and twice ransacking the Algiers offices of Egypt Air.
  
The attacks prompted Orascom to pull out 25 Egyptian employees and their families.
  
In its statement, the foreign ministry said that the Egyptian companies had begun seeking compensation for the losses sustained in the attacks.
  
Orascom executive chief Naguib Sawaris said earlier this week that Orascom suffered at least five million dollars in damage.

Date created : 2009-11-19

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