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Two Toulouse supporters hospitalised after violence in Serbia

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-18

A few hours before the Europa League match between French side Toulouse and host Partizan Belgrade, two French supporters were hospitalised, one in serious condition, following a clash between fans.

AFP - Two supporters of the French football team Toulouse were hospitalised, one in serious condition, following a clash Thursday with fans the Belgrade club Partizan, the B92 radio station reported.

A 28-year-old Frenchman was breathing with the help of a ventilator after being resuscitated following injuries to his head and thorax, the radio station and the Tanjug news agency reported.

On Friday, doctor Vladimir Djukic of Belgrade Emergency center told AFP that the "seriously injured French patient is very much better".

"His verbal response is much better than yesterday. He opens his eyes spontaneously so we can move him from ventilator to put him on his own breathing regime," Djukic said.

He added that the patient was kept "in a quite stable position for transport to France as soon as possible".

However, the doctors were still worried "about his chest problem as he has got severe contusions."

A second Frenchmen was also hospitalised with less severe injuries but held overnight for observation.

Djukic said he would be released from hospital later Friday or on Saturday.

A Serbian employee of the bar was also injured, but was released from the hospital, Djukic said.

The clash took place before the Europa League match won 3-2 by Toulouse when about 30 Partizan Belgrade supporters entered a bar where the French fans had gathered.

One of the French fans told AFP that Partizan supporters had attacked their group with baseball bats, bicycle chains and torches.

The French embassy in Belgrade asked the Serbian Interior Ministry to "clear up" all events and bring "perpetrators" to justice, a statement said.

Serbian President Boris Tadic condemned "wild and barbaric acts by football fans and attacks on foreign citizens" and insisted that the "state must do everything to arrest those who have committed violence and punish them as strictly as possible".

"The state will react in accordance with its authorities to any act of violence on the streets of Belgrade and it will not allow the atmosphere of chaos to be created," Tadic said in a statement.

Date created : 2009-09-18

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