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36 Zamalek fans detained over Cairo clashes with security forces

Thirty-six hardcore Zamalek supporters have been arrested on charges of violence in Cairo on Thursday

Ahram Online, Saturday 30 Aug 2014
Ultras White Knights
Zamalek's Ultras White Knights (Photo: Ahram)

Thirty-six members of a Zamalek football club fan group will be remanded in custody for 15 days pending investigations over their alleged involvement in clashes with security forces on Thursday, reigniting long-lasting enmity between Zamalek fans and the Egyptian authorities.

The suspects, who belong to a Zamalek fan group called the Ultras White Knights, are accused of organising an unauthorised march, destroying public and private property, and possessing firearms.

They were arrested after reportedly being involved in clashes with security forces in Cairo's Shubra neighbourhood. The fans were protesting against the detention of some of their comrades who are accused of trying to assassinate club chairman Mortada Mansour.

Mansour, a lawyer and an outspoken public figure, has been involved in several bust-ups with the team's fans since being re-elected as Zamalek chairman in March for a third stint in charge of one of Egypt and Africa's most successful outfits.

The Ultras White Knights initially blamed him for not doing enough to coax authorities into lifting an ongoing crowd ban in domestic competitions before a feud dramatically escalated, with Mansour branding them a "terrorist group" bent on stirring up chaos in the country.

The group said it was determined to pursue its "freedom-for-fans" goal, insisting it will not turn a blind eye towards what it believes is injustice.

"Entire regimes collapsed before because they wanted to restrict our freedom and ruin our entertainment. Yesterday was resistance, tomorrow is fight and afterwards freedom will be achieved," the group said in a Facebook statement.

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