Madrid derby marred by crowd trouble

February 24, 2007

MADRID, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Police used rubber bullets and baton charges to disperse fans before Saturday's derby between Atletico and Real Madrid, Spanish media reported.

El Pais said the trouble started when a group of Atletico's ultra fans threw bottles and other objects at the police who responded by trying to disperse the crowd.

The fans reacted by destroying cars belonging to the local media that had been parked alongside the stadium.

Local emergency services said that the disturbances had resulted in minor injuries to 17 people, four of whom were taken to hospital.

In a separate incident around a dozen Atletico fans fell some two metres on to the ground at one end of the stadium when a barrier collapsed while they were celebrating the opening goal in the 1-1 draw. No one was reported hurt.