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 4 men wounded by gunshots in Brazil fan violence

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PostSubject: 4 men wounded by gunshots in Brazil fan violence   Mon 13 Feb 2012, 22:45

SAO PAULO (AP)óFour Botafogo fans were wounded by gunshots after the teamís game against Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro during a weekend marked by violence between rival supporters and police across Brazil.

Authorities in Rio said the four fans were hospitalized after being shot early Monday but their injuries were not life threatening. They were shot at a plaza by unknown assailants who drove by just after a fight between fans from both clubs.

Dozens of other soccer supporters also were injured or detained at other venues on Sunday in clashes between rival fans and fights between hooligans and police.

In the interior city of Campinas, police used rubber bullets to disperse a crowd before the match between Ponte Preta and Sao Paulo. Supporters from both clubs clashed outside Moises Lucarelli stadium and riot police were brought in to intervene. Television images showed Ponte Preta fans throwing rocks at the officers and at reporters, damaging several vehicles.

No major injuries were reported but several arrests were made, according to local media.

A few media outlets were not able to cover the game because of the lack of security.

Also Sunday, Palmeiras fans were attacked by a group of Corinthians supporters as they left for the teamís match against Santos in Presidente Prudente. The Corinthians fans reportedly threw rocks at the buses carrying Palmeiras supporters as it passed near Corinthiansí headquarters in Sao Paulo. Nobody was seriously injured but police made nearly 20 arrests.

In the southern city of Porto Alegre, fan groups from club Internacional fought each other near the Estadio Olimpico before the teamís match against rival Gremio. No significant injuries were reported.

Fan violence in Brazil is not uncommon and high-profile matches between rival clubs are a concern to police.

Four Goias fans were wounded by gunshots earlier this year in Goiania and another four were shot after a fight that left 80 people detained in Rio last year. All recovered from their injuries.

The last reported death from fan violence in Brazil occurred in November 2010, when a 19-year-old Cruzeiro fan was repeatedly beaten with iron bars during a brawl between dozens of rival fans in Belo Horizonte.

Earlier that year, then President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva approved harsher punishments for fan fighting, including fines and prison terms of up to two years for anyone involved in acts of violence inside the stadium or within a radius of 3 miles from the venue.

A study at the time showed that more than 40 people were killed in connection to Brazilian football matches between 1999 and 2009.
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4 men wounded by gunshots in Brazil fan violence

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