Approximately 1,000 youths have been involved in violent riots at a Madrid music festival, injuring 60 and hospitalizing 10. Witnesses have described it as an “urban battle” scene. Eleven were arrested.
The youngsters involved had been barred from entering the free MTV Madrid Beach outdoor festival, as it had already been stretched to full capacity. People started shoving violently and climbing over security barriers. A bystander told the local daily 20Minutos that “some raised the fences, others jumped; there was much pushing and then the fighting.”
The rioting began in the early hours of Saturday morning. An unnamed police spokesman said that as it escalated, a “shower of bottles” came from the crowds. Bins were burnt, bus stops “trashed”, vehicles parked in the area were destroyed and signposts broken.
Fire-fighters were sent to the scene, and police reinforcements had to be called out. Riot police fired rounds of rubber bullets in response to the bottle-throwers.
The disturbance spread as far as the Paseo de la Florida, the San Vicente roundabout and the Príncipe Pio station, lasting until 05:30 GMT, when the Spanish news agency EFE reported the situation “calm”.
Eleven people were arrested for endangering law enforcement officers; 20 of those injured were police officers, while two of those requiring hospitalization were police officers. Nationwide newspaper El Pais reports that some of the bins which had been set on fire were deliberately placed in the road to ensure that police could not pass through.
Various injuries resulting from the riots include bruises, sprains, cuts of varying degrees and, in one case, by an asthma attack, according to an emergency services spokesman.
The police spokesman described the rioting as “unusual” in its intensity.
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