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Police accidentally shoots soccer fan dead in Rome
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14:23, November 12, 2007

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An Italian police officer accidentally shot dead a fan Sunday when trying to break up a soccer violence at a motorway rest stop in Rome, media reports said Monday.

A group of about 200 people, both Roma and Lazio fans and some wielding rocks and clubs, attacked a police barracks, setting cars on fire and smashing the building's windows, after the killing incident.

Gabriele Sandri, a 26-year-old disc jockey from Rome, was hit in the neck by a bullet while in a car at the rest area along the A1Autostrada near the town of Arezzo, about 125 miles north of Rome. The fans were heading to Lazio's match at Inter Milan.

Vincenzo Giacobbe, the head of police at Arezzo where the shooting took place, confirmed that the man had died and did not deny media reports that the fatal bullet had come from a police weapon.

"This is a tragic mistake," he said. "Our agent had intervened to prevent the fracas between two groups of people -- that had not been considered fans -- degenerating into a situation with serious consequences for both groups. I express my most profound pain and sincere condolences to the victim's family."

But police later said that it was not certain that the fatal bullet had been fired by the police officer and that forensic tests were being carried out.

The Italian football federation postponed the Inter-Lazio game to a date to be determined.

Sports Minister Giovanna Melandri said "the death of the young fan is an immense tragedy."

Source: Xinhua



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