Croatia tracks down soccer hooligans after riots

Croatian police launched a crack down on soccer hooligans who devastated a stadium and injured fans and opposed security officers during a World Cup qualifying match in Malta.

More than 70 Croatian fans were detained following the rioting, which caused extensive damage to seats and other stadium infrastructure as well as several cuts and bruises to opposing fans and security officers.

Croatian police immediately promised to help identify and prosecute offenders, police spokesman Zlatko Mehun said.

He said Croatian police would check whether any of the roughly 300 rioters were known offenders, in which case other measures such as match bans would be pursued.

An overwhelming favorite, Croatia led 1-0 before the home side equalized and dented its chances of reaching the 2006 World Cup, the AP reports.

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