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134 arrested as riots mar Barcelona celebrations

Police in Barcelona made more than 100 arrests on Thursday as victory celebrations in the aftermath of the Champions League Final degenerated into riots.
AFP | By HT Correspondent, Barcelona
UPDATED ON MAY 28, 2009 03:10 PM IST

Police in Barcelona made more than 100 arrests on Thursday as victory celebrations in the aftermath of the Champions League Final degenerated into riots.

Around 100,000 people spilled onto the streets of the Catalan capital in the aftermath of Barcelona's 2-0 victory over Manchester United in Rome.

But while a carnival atmosphere initially prevailed, the mood turned ugly after midnight when youths began clashing with police around one of the city's main thoroughfares, Las Ramblas.

Youths hurled bottles as they tried to storm through metal barricades keeping a mob back from shops, prompting a surge by baton-wielding riot officers.

Terrified passersby caught up in the violence had to cower behind walls as the clashes intensified.

In a statement, police said they had arrested 119 people for public order offences in the city and a total of 134 in the wider Catalonia region.

A total of 153 people were also injured, said the statement. And while most of the injuries were minor, 23 needed hospital treatment.

The statement said that police had issued "repeated warnings" to the rioters.

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