Police break up brief, violent disturbances involving English fans

Police broke up two brief but violent disturbances involving English soccer fans Saturday, arresting more than 120 people the day before England plays Ecuador in a World Cup second-round match.

Following Germany's 2-0 afternoon win over Sweden, English and German fans clashed near outdoor viewing screens in this southern German city. German fans were singing in celebration when England fans began throwing plastic chairs and bottles at them, police spokeswoman Christiane Honer said.

Five Germans were injured before officers in riot gear separated the two sides.

Associated Press Television Network video showed officers wading into the crowd and handcuffing at least two people, though police said there were no arrests.

Early Saturday in the same downtown area, police arrested 122 English fans who had been throwing bottles and glasses at passers-by from a pub terrace.

Arriving officers also became targets of what police described as drunken fans. Eventually the disturbance required about 200 police, including British officers who helped calm their compatriots.

No one was injured, according to police spokesman Stefan Keilbach, who those fans will be held until Monday.

About 50,000 England fans were expected in Stuttgart for the England-Ecuador match. They will be greeted with a heavy security presence about 1,800 officers on patrol along with British police.

In Munich, where Germany beat Sweden, 49 people were arrested in various incidents, police spokeswoman Veronika Flemisch said. Aside from several arrested for trying to hop the fence into a separate stadium where the game was being broadcast, others were arrested for offenses such as drug possession and public drunkenness.

"I wouldn't call it quiet with all the people in the city, but there's nothing serious," Flemisch said, reports AP.


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