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Monday, December 13, 2010

Deaths in football riots between Palestinian Arabs and Jordanians

From Al Jazeera:
A football game in Amman between Jordan's Al-Wahdat and Al-Faisaly clubs has ended in violence.

As anti-riot police tried to control crowds as they left the football field on Friday, a metal fence collapsed under the weight of the crowd, injuring some 250 people.

Eyewitnesses said that several people were beaten to death by police trying to prevent an escalation of clashes between the two teams' supporters.

Supporters of Al-Wahdat are generally of Palestinian origin, while Al-Faisaly fans are of Jordanian origin, our correspondent said.

During the past few years, tensions between the teams' supporters have marred their matches. The number of injuries in Friday's game is exceptionally high, however.

According to witness accounts, the violence broke out outside the stadium, with some people smashing cars.

"Let's see whether [the government] is going to have a credible investigation, with people who made mistakes held accountable," Salameh Nematt, a political analyst, told Al Jazeera.

"Today's incident may have political implications, but the government is trying not to highlight this Palestinian-Jordanian divide within Jordan," El-Shamayleh reported.
A Wikileaks document released last week spoke about this very phenomenon of Jordanians and Palestinian Arabs - supporters of these same two teams - using games as a means to insult and riot against the other side.