Police fire rubber pellets at Swiss fans
Organisers say a small minority turn slightly aggressive following the last-minute Swiss defeat on Wednesday.12 June 2008
BERN - Police fired rubber pellets at Swiss fans rampaging and clashing with security forces in Bern after the last-minute Swiss defeat at the European Championship, a spokesman said Thursday.
Police in the Swiss capital arrested 20 people for property damage and theft on Wednesday night, said Juerg Mosimann. Up to three dozen football fans were involved in the clashes near the main train station, he said.
Mosimann said only a small minority of the fans in public viewing zones became aggressive.
In the northwestern city of Basel, where Turkey beat Switzerland 2-1, police detained 25 people, spokesman Hanspeter Weisshaupt said. Most of the 100,000 fans on the streets were peaceful, but some demonstrated their frustration after Turkey's late winner.
Security forces managed to calm the heated situation by intervening rapidly. There was no major fan troubles, organisers said in a statement.
Police in St. Gallen in eastern Switzerland said they used pepper spray to separate a group of Swiss fans fighting with Turkish supporters.
Around 50 Swiss extremists were rampaging after the game and provoking Turkish fans, police said. When security officers tried to stop them, the Swiss started throwing bottles and stones at them.
The Swiss group moved on through the city and started a fight with another group of Turkish fans, tearing Turkish flags from a car. In their effort to separate the two groups, police were again attacked with bottles and stones from the Swiss, it said. After repeated brawls, police were able to calm the situation. Two people were hospitalised.
In Zurich, Switzerland's largest city, police arrested 20 people, organisers said. One person was hospitalised with a knee injury.
In the town of Winterthur, near Zurich, five Swiss fans were detained after a fight.
Police in the neighbouring canton (state) of Aargau in northern Switzerland said they detained 14 people.
[AP / Expatica]