Policeman dies in Cyprus soccer riot

A policeman died and 27 people were injured in Cyprus on Saturday during a riot by soccer fans after a match which police had asked to be called off because of safety fears. Marios Malekos, a 43-year-old riot police officer, is thought to have died of a heart attack in the southern town of Limassol when police were attacked by fans after the game between AEL Limassol and APOEL Nicosia. The rioting broke out when fans of the home team gathered outside the stadium’s changing rooms after the game ended in a 1-1 draw and began throwing stones at riot police, who fired tear gas in return. Police chiefs earlier had asked for the match to be postponed but Public Order Minister Doros Theodorou instructed them to step up police presence at the game instead. There were some 400 officers at the stadium.

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