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Monday, April 26, 1999 Published at 00:48 GMT 01:48 UK


World: Europe

Police shoot Dutch soccer hooligans

Police and fans were injured in the violence

Police in Rotterdam have shot and injured three rioters as street fighting erupted among hooligans celebrating local club Feyenoord's 14th Dutch soccer league championship.


BBC's Lindsay Marnoch: Most rioters left when police brought in water cannon
A group of about 100 to 150 fans attacked riot police with bottles, stones and other makeshift weapons, smashed windows and looted stores.

Others disrupted railway traffic by walking on tracks that run through central Rotterdam.

The shooting on Sunday is reported to have happened after police had cornered some of the rioting fans. Eye witnesses said they fired shots into the air, then directly into the crowd.

It was reported that the police fired only when they felt threatened.

Ambulances took the wounded to local hospitals. Police spokesperson Anne Geelof said three fans had been hit by police bullets, one in the neck, one in the stomach and the third in the leg.

The injured fans were later reported to have been discharged from hospital.

One police officer was injured when a stone thrown by a hooligan hit him in the neck.

Arrests

The violence broke out at about 1830 GMT. Earlier, a quarter of a million fans had packed into the centre of Rotterdam, outside the town hall, to peacefully celebrate Feyenoord's victory over NAC Breda.

The team clinched the championship after drawing 2-2 with their rivals.

Many supporters had gone home by the time the rioting started.

Most fans left after police brought in water cannon. Only sporadic incidents of looting and vandalism followed, leaving the city calm but tense.

At least 50 people were reported to have been arrested.

Reports of the violence will add to Feyenoord's already troubled reputation for the behaviour of some of its fans.

The club has already banned supporters travelling to away matches during next season's champions' league.





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