England fans run amok in second night of violence

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The Independent Online

Twenty England fans were in custody today after a second night of rioting on the Algarve in Portugal.

Twenty England fans were in custody today after a second night of rioting on the Algarve in Portugal.

Mounted officers and riot police with dogs clashed with around 400 bottle-throwing supporters in Albufeira - the scene of similar ugly scenes just a day ago.

Portuguese police spokesman Captain Manuel Jorge said there had been 20 arrests with more possibly to follow, and that one fan detained had been taken to hospital with an injury to his eye.

The violence is believed to have started after fans threw beer at a group of Portuguese outside the La Bamba bar - where yesterday's disturbance first began.

As the locals ran off the rioters tried to break windows at Matt's bar opposite and police moved in.

Cpt Jorge, speaking about the fans, added: "Around 2am they began throwing bottles and glasses into the road. They also threw tables into the road.

"At 2.15am the situation got hot, and the situation also involved 15 or 20 Portuguese people who were just passing by in the road.

"The police needed to go in with horses and dogs to defuse the situation."It is now under control and we are cleaning the street. At the moment we have 20 arrests but there may be more."

He said around 400 England fans were involved.

The trouble again centred around the town's main strip of bars and at its height saw officers charging into fans who scattered before regrouping to taunt officers.

Towards the end of the trouble a small group of supporters were still goading police outside Lineker's bar at the top of the main strip but by 4am all the fans had dispersed.

The flare-up of violence comes a day after similar scenes wrecked the good image of England fans who had been praised by local police for their behaviour following their team's defeat by France on Sunday.

Witnesses claimed the police were heavy-handed during yesterday's incident in the early hours of the morning and British officials stressed that they regarded the trouble as drunken disorder rather than organised football violence.

But the father of a 10-year-old boy injured in the trouble outside a bar in the town branded the England fans "animals" and called for them to be "thrown out" of the country.

Twelve Britons are due to appear in court later today after being arrested for public order offences following yesterday's disturbance.

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