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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 08:07, July 03, 2006
Violence overshadows World Cup celebrations
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Violent incidents marred French street celebrations early yesterday following France's 1-0 win over World Cup champions Brazil, with police firing teargas at bottle-hurling youths in central Paris.

Paris police said that some people sustained injuries after being hit by flying bottles and other projectiles along the French capital's famous Champs-Elysees where there were 20 arrests.

At least two vehicles were torched in the violence, Paris police said.

The violence broke out at around 1:00 am (midnight) after 2 hours of peaceful celebrations following the victory in Germany which propelled the 1998 World Cup winners into a semi-final clash against Portugal, who beat England in Saturday's other game.

The atmosphere deteriorated while thousands celebrated the win on the celebrated street between the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde.

Dozens of youths hurled bottles, stones and other projectiles at police who responded with teargas.

The windows of a McDonald's fast-food restaurant at the top of the Champs were smashed and parked cars overturned.

One group attacked a car near the Arc de Triomphe, battering it with stones before setting it ablaze. A scooter was also torched.

In the middle of the famous shopping and people-gazing street police mounted sporadic charges on groups of violent youths.

The crowd had significantly diminished by 2:00 am.

There was also trouble in the southern port town of Marseille, a footballing stronghold, where riot police clashed with gangs of youths.

Police there also resorted to teargas to disperse the crowds after cans and bottles were thrown.

There were no reports of injuries, local police said, although arrests were under way.

For the most part in Paris, Marseille and other major French cities including Toulouse, Lyon and Boulogne the celebrations were good-natured, with thousands taking to the streets and car horns sounding after many watched the match on giant screens.

The France-Portugal semi-final will take place in Munich on Wednesday.

Source: China Daily

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