Politician demands crackdown after 42 injured
LEIPZIG, Germany -- A state politician demanded a crackdown Sunday after 42 people were injured when police and security officers clashed with 800 hooligans following a soccer match.
The fans of FC Lokomotive Leipzig attacked 300 police officers after FC Erzgebirge Aue II beat their team 3-0 on Saturday. Police said 36 officers and six fans were injured, while 21 police vehicles were vandalized.
Germany has seen a surge in stadium violence since hosting the largely peaceful World Cup. Several of the worst incidents, including the one on Saturday, have occurred in the state of Saxony, located in the economically depressed East Germany.
Saxony interior minister Albrecht Buttolo demanded strong action from the German government.
"It's not enough for me when those responsible try to distance themselves from events like this," Buttolo said. "I won't allow a situation like Italy to take place in and around Saxony stadiums."
A police officer was killed when fans rioted at a Feb. 2 match in Italy between Catania and Palermo, leaving 100 people injured.
Police said hooligans pelted the officers, their horses and dogs with stones and pieces of cement. A security officer fired off a warning shot when 20 people surrounded him before he could be pulled to safety.
Police fought back with clubs, pepper spray and several of the hooligans were injured through dog bites. Five men were taken into custody and then released.