(Updates with higher death toll)


At least 31 people have died, most of them gunned down, in clashes between protesters and security forces around the prison in the Mediterranean city of Port Said, medical authorities told Efe on Saturday.

The director of Port Said's hospitals department, Abderrahman Farah, said that more than 300 people have been wounded and have been received by all the hospitals in the city.

The fatalities include soccer player Mohamed al Dadui of the local Al Marrij club in the Egyptian second division, and the former goalkeeper of the Al Masry Tamer al Fahla squad, who helped his club win the 1998 Egypt Cup, according to the official news agency Mena.

Many of the wounded were already dead by the time they reached the hospitals, Farah said, adding that the victims had, "besides bullet and shotgun wounds, fractures and cuts on their bodies."

The clashes in Port Said erupted after a Cairo court on Saturday sentenced 21 people to death for a soccer massacre that followed a February 2012 Egyptian league game between local team Al-Masry and Cairo club Al-Ahly at Port Said stadium.

After the sentencing, family members of the defendants and radical Al-Masry supporters tried to force their way into the prison and battled the security forces with firearms and Molotov cocktails.

The army has deployed troops and armored vehicles around the city to try to pacify and stabilize it, and to protect public buildings.

This is the second Egyptian city that has deployed units of the armed forces over the past few hours, after the arrival of troops in the nearby town of Suez.

This new outbreak of violence comes a day after nine people died and 584 were wounded, according to Health Ministry figures, in nationwide disturbances Friday to mark the second anniversary of the uprising that ultimately toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

Eight people were killed in Suez and one other fatality occurred in the nearby city of Ismailia, while the largest numbers of wounded were registered in the governorate of Cairo (172), followed by Alexandria (102), Suez (89) and Ismailia (77). EFE