Croatian police fire live ammunition as football fans clash; 35 injured | News, Sports, Jobs


ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Outnumbered Croatian police fired warning shots in the air and at the ground with live ammunition when soccer fans returning from a match in the capital attacked them on a highway with iron bars, bats and flares, authorities said Sunday. At least 35 people were injured, including four fans with gunshot wounds.

Saturday night’s violence occurred when a convoy of more than 260 cars and buses carried Hajduk Split supporters under police escort after their side lost 3-1 to Dinamo Zagreb. The two teams have a fierce rivalry – Split is Croatia’s second largest city after Zagreb – and Hajduk fans may have been angry because the police banned them from entering the Zagreb stadium with flares and banners.

Around 2,000 fans refused to enter the stadium and remained outside throughout the game, police said. On their way back to Split, about 355 kilometers (220 miles) south of Zagreb, a group of fans blocked traffic and began attacking officers on a stretch of highway on the outskirts of the capital, police said.

The road is the main Croatian highway leading from Zagreb to the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Police said fans ignored orders to disperse.

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