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Bulgarian police detain 44 after violence at Sofia derby

Bulgarian police detain 44 after violence at Sofia derby
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By Reuters
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SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgarian police detained 44 people for public order offences after violence broke out between fans of rival soccer teams in Sofia on Sunday, authorities said.

The skirmishes broke out before the match between Levski Sofia and CSKA, which the home team won 1-0, as supporters threw fireworks, missiles and other objects at each other and police.

"Before, during and after the derby, a total of 44 people were detained for disturbing public order, carrying prohibited objects, pyrotechnics and narcotics," the interior ministry said on Monday.

No serious injuries were reported, police said.

The fixture has a long history of crowd violence. There has been a spate of clashes and arrests since 2000, when a 30-year-old fan was killed by a bomb.

With Sunday's win, Levski moved up to second place in Bulgaria's top division on 48 points from 23 matches, above CSKA on goal difference. Champions Ludogorets, beaten 1-0 by Cherno More Varna on Saturday, head the standings with 53 points.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; editing by John Stonestreet)

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