Reuters, June 22, 2008
Bosnian Muslims and Croats clash after Euro match
MOSTAR, Bosnia (Reuters) - Dozens of people were admitted to hospital late on Friday after Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat football fans clashed following Turkey's defeat of Croatia in their Euro 2008 quarter-final, officials said.
Around 1,000 police, including special forces, cordoned off the town centre and used teargas to separate the rival fans, who hurled rocks and bottles at each other.
Gunshots and car alarms could be heard as fans attacked cars and smashed nearby shop windows.
Many Bosnian Muslims back Turkey in international competitions for historical and cultural reasons that date back to the five centuries of Ottoman rule in the Balkans, while Croats regard the Croatian national team as their own.
"Dozens of people were admitted to hospital, including four police officers of whom one with serious injuries," a local doctor told Reuters.
Mostar has a history of soccer-related violence. The southern Bosnian city has roughly an equal number of Croats and Muslims, who were enemies during a 1993-94 conflict but later became allies against Bosnian Serbs.
Mostar's rival soccer fans last had a major clash in 2006, after the town's Muslims supported Brazil in a World Cup match that saw the Croats lose 1-0.
One boy was shot and seriously wounded and six policemen were injured when they used tear gas to separate fans who were hurling rocks and bottles at each other.
In 1998 a woman was killed by a stray bullet during celebrations of Croatia's World Cup quarter final victory.