Languages
Page last updated at 13:29 GMT, Monday, 16 November 2009

Algeria secures Egyptian embassy

Algeria football supporters
Thousands of supporters joined in the rally in Algiers

Security forces have been deployed to protect the Egyptian embassy in Algiers after Egyptian businesses in the Algerian capital were attacked.

The offices of Egypt Air and an Egyptian phone company were ransacked on Sunday during a rally in support of the Algerian football team.

Thousands of people had gathered hoping to buy plane tickets to Sudan for the World Cup play-off match against Egypt.

Wednesday's match will determine which of the sides attends South Africa 2010.

Hysteria

The demonstration had began peacefully with a procession and shouts of "One, two, three. Go Algeria!"

Egypt's Ahmed al-Mohammedi (L) challenges Algeria's Nadir Belhadj (R) during the 14/11/2009 match
There is intense rivalry between the sides

As tensions built, fans broke through the metal shutters of an Egypt Air branch, smashed the window and ransacked the office.

The offices of telephone company Djeezy were also broken into and there were reports of a Djeezy employee being assaulted at Algiers airport.

The BBC's Arab affairs analyst, Magdi Abdelhadi, says this is the first time the violence has reached such a level.

Our analyst added that despite official efforts to contain the hysteria by emphasising common culture and religion, loyalty to the respective football teams appears to have the upper hand.

Wednesday's sudden-death game is needed to separate the teams following Saturday's tense final group qualifier in Cairo that left the teams level on points in the qualification group.

Egypt won that leg 2-0.

Four members of the Algerian football squad were injured on Thursday when their team bus was attacked with stones as it arrived in Cairo for the game.

Following the match, around 20 Algerians were injured in clashes in and around Cairo.

The teams have an intense rivalry that goes back decades. The last time they met in a major tournament in 1989, the match was followed by riots.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Egypt and Algeria in play-off
14 Nov 09 |  African
Lemmouchia unhappy game was played
16 Nov 09 |  African
Algeria footballers hurt in Cairo
13 Nov 09 |  Middle East
Crunch time for Egypt and Algeria
13 Nov 09 |  Middle East
Zidan back for goal-shy Pharaohs
29 Oct 09 |  African
2010 World Cup
25 Oct 09 |  African

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific