Football fan dies in police firing

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Warsaw: A Polish soccer fan died on Saturday after he was hit by a rubber bullet fired by police, leading to violent clashes in a provincial town hours later in which 14 officers were wounded, police said.

Police in Knurow faced a crowd of fans who bombarded them with petrol bombs and other missiles after gathering late on Saturday outside the hospital where the 27-year-old was pronounced dead.

The government had launched an investigation into the fan`s death, a spokeswoman said.

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“Molotov cocktails, stones and other things were thrown towards the officers. Fourteen officers were wounded during the incident and several aggressive people were detained,” Andrzej Gaska, police spokesman in the southern Silesia region, said on Sunday.

The man died after being hit in the neck by the rubber bullet, fired as police tried to quell supporter violence during a match on Saturday afternoon between two lower-league Silesian teams.

The game was abandoned before half-time after fans of both sides invaded the pitch. Police said they intervened to separate fighting fans, who then turned on the officers.

The government was investigating both the post-match violence and the shooting incident “as (to) … whether the police acted in accordance with their prerogatives,” the spokeswoman said.

Knurow was quiet on Sunday but police were on alert to quell any possible further unrest there, Gaska said.