Two die in clashes between Argentine supporters

BUENOS AIRES: Two people were killed as convoys carrying rival sets of supporters to two different Argentine football matches crossed paths on a major highway, police said on Sunday. 

Police said that a pitch battle broke out between fans of River Plate and Newell's Old Boys at a toll collection point on the main highway between Buenos Aires and Rosario. 

The fans of River Plate, whose club are based in Buenos Aires, were heading to Rosario in a convoy of eight buses where their team played Rosario Central later on Sunday. 

Six busloads of Newell's fans were travelling from Rosario to Buenos Aires to see their team take on Boca Juniors. 

“There was a terrible situation which ended in deaths,” police inspector Roberto Gramzugor told reporters. Police added that dozens were injured and “hundreds” arrested. 

Media reports said the rival fans fired gunshots at threw stones at each other. 

One of the dead was identified as a 29-year-old Newell's supporter, media said. The other has yet to be identified. 

Fotball violence, sometimes ending in fatalities, is common Argentina where clubs are followed by gangs of notorious “barrabravas”.  

Early last year, the government threatened to suspend the Argentine championship after four people were killed in separate incidents while several matches were called off because of crowd trouble. 

In November, Bolivian team Bolivar complained that their bus was ambushed by fans of opponents Gimnasia-La Plata as it drove from Buenos Aires to their stadium for a Copa Sudamericana tie. 

The team goalkeeper was ruled out of the match after being hit by flying glass as the Gimnasia supporters pelted the vehicle with stones. – Reuters 

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