Premiership's Algerian stars survived missiles being thrown at their team bus by Egyptian thugs yesterday.

The Sun says Portsmouth duo Nadir Belhadj and Hassan Yebda, plus Hull striker Kamel Ghilas, are on international duty with Algeria for today's crunch World Cup qualifier in Cairo.

Their team bus was ambushed on Thursday by a 100-strong mob, who hurled paving stones and bricks in an organised attack that smashed all the coach's windows.

Blackpool's former Fulham winger Hameur Bouazza, Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra and former Manchester City midfielder Djamel Abdoun were also on board.

Three of their team-mates needed stitches to face and head wounds, while several others were also hit by missiles. Amazingly, the Egyptian press claimed the bus ambush had been made up.

Bougherra fumed: "There were very few policemen around the team bus. They just provided a small escort.

"We were caught in a trap. The coach windows simply exploded and it was absolutely staggering. We did not panic and the bus kept on moving."