26 injured in clash with soccer hooligans in Poland

Fourteen officers and 18 other people were injured after hundreds of soccer hooligans clashed with police overnight following two lower division matches, a news agency reported Monday.

The violence in Mielec began after a fan who was being pursued by police for speeding on his motorcycle died in a crash Sunday evening. Some 500 hooligans then began attacking officers with paving stones, local police spokesman Wieslaw Dybas told Poland's PAP news agency.

"Soccer hooligans blame the police for the death," Dybas said.

More than 200 policemen reacted by firing rubber bullets on the crowd during the five hour-long clash, which followed the fourth-division match between Stal Mielec and Siarka Tarnobrzeg, the AP reports.

They also detained about 60 people, Dybas said, while six officers were injured and eight police cars were damaged.

The clashes left trash cans and ripped-up paving stones strewn around the town. Police gave no immediate estimate of the cost of the damage.

In Lublin, rowdy fans attacked the stadium guards and then the police during a third-division soccer match between Motor Lublin and Avia Swidnik.

Thirty-eight people were detained after the clashes that left eight officers, six guards and 12 other people injured and a police car damaged, Lublin police spokesman Janusz Wojtowicz told PAP.

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