Algerian press savages Egypt in wake of grudge match

The Algerian press has played a major role in inciting Algerians against expatriate Egyptians resident in Algeria. Many local newspapers have called for "taking revenge" for the alleged killing of Algerian football fans in Egypt following Egypt’s victory in Saturday’s World Cup playoff match.

Widely-read Algerian daily Al-Shorouq wrote that 17 Algerian fans had been killed in Cairo following the supercharged game, prompting Algerians to vent their anger on the expatriate Egyptian community.   

Although Algerian officials subsequently refuted the claims, Al-Shorouq wrote on Monday that an Algerian national had been killed by an Egyptian attacker in a Cairo hotel following the match. The assailant, the paper reported, later wrapped the dead man’s body in an Algerian flag.

In another article, the paper claimed that a pregnant Algerian woman, Nour el-Hoda, had been riding a bus with her husband when Egyptian fans hurled stones at the bus and attacked passengers. El-Hoda, the paper alleged, had lost her baby as a result of the assault.

Al-Shorouq further claimed that Egyptian police had shown leniency to Egyptian assailants and that they had forced Algerian women to remove their clothes under the pretext of security inspections. "Luckily the match was a draw," the report concluded, "otherwise players would have come home in coffins."

"The Algerian flag was dishonored in a country where the Israeli flag is raised high," opined prominent Algerian author Ahlam Mosteghanemi, who went on to demand an apology from the Egyptian government.

Former Algerian footballer Lakhdar Belloumi said that Egypt had "fallen from grace" as a result of Egyptian’s alleged post-match behavior.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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