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Last Updated: Monday, 9 June, 2003, 17:52 GMT 18:52 UK
Border shut after soccer clash
The border between Gambia and Senegal has been closed following serious clashes between soldiers and Senegalese football supporters.
Gambian fans clashed with Senegalese troops
Gambian fans clashed with Senegalese troops

Hundreds of vehicles are stranded on both sides of the border on the Trans-Gambian Highway.

A Senegalese government official says that the border will remain shut until the situation is brought under control.

The clashes erupted during Saturday's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Senegal's capital, Dakar.

In a radio interview, Gambian President Yayha Jammeh urged his compatriots to calm down, while the Senegalese Interior Minister, General Mamadou Niang, made a similar speech in Dakar.

The Senegalese interior minister described what happened as regrettable and appealed for calm.

Reports said a Senegalese citizen had been killed in Gambia, but General Niang denied the reports.

A BBC reporter, Alpha Jallow, was violently attacked and robbed by a group of youths on Saturday night in Ziguinchor in Senegal because he is Gambian.

He is now in Tambacounda where he told BBC News Online that tension remained high.

Hiding

In Gambia, Senegalese nationals have been attacked by locals incensed by the treatment of their compatriots at the match on Saturday, which Senegal won 3-1.

During the game Gambian fans, who were throwing bottles and stones at the Senegalese, were repulsed by Senegalese soldiers.

Gambians responded by attacking Senegalese residents and destroying cars and buildings.

Many Senegalese in Gambia are now in hiding, or under the protection of the army.

Several Senegalese were injured.

Some 200 Senegalese have sought shelter at their embassy in Banjul, demanding to be repatriated.

Senegalese and Gambian police officers are meeting at the Gambian border post of Amdalai to co-ordinate their response to the problem.




SEE ALSO:
Violence mars Senegal win
08 Jun 03  |  Africa
Country profile: Senegal
27 May 03  |  Country profiles
Country profile: Gambia
27 May 03  |  Country profiles


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