Police crack down on hooligans

Police raided at least 11 soccer supporters’ clubs over the weekend and seized a number of weapons as they continued efforts to round up the hooligans involved in a mass brawl on Thursday that led to one person being beaten to death and several others injured. Two more suspects, the presidents of Olympiakos supporters’ clubs in Peristeri and Neo Faliron, were arrested after the raids. Officers found baseball bats, petrol bombs, knives, slingshots, metal chains and flare guns after conducting raids on a total of 10 Panathinaikos and Olympiakos fan clubs in Athens on Saturday. An AEK supporters’ club in Nea Philadelphia, northern Athens, was also searched. Police had seized similar items when they raided another 10 clubs following the clash between some 500 hooligans in Paeania, northeast of Athens, on Thursday. Officers also confiscated a large quantity of marijuana. Forensic scientists are examining all the weapons found at the scene of the brawl as well as at fan clubs to establish whether there is any DNA evidence linking the items to attacks on other fans. Drops of blood found on the clothes of those arrested are also being analyzed. A prosecutor is today due to begin questioning 16 people arrested in connection with the bloody incident. The suspects are facing charges that include murder, attempted murder and membership of a criminal gang. Authorities said they were still looking for three suspects from the Maniatika district of Piraeus, who are thought to have been involved in the death of Panathinaikos fan Michalis Filopoulos on Thursday. Filopoulos, whose age was initially given as 25, was 22-years-old and died from head injuries, authorities confirmed. He was buried at the First Cemetery in Athens on Saturday. Team sports in Greece have been suspended until April 12 in the wake of Filopoulos’s death. Six of the people injured on Thursday are still being treated in the KAT Hospital. Four of them are under police guard, an officer said.

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