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British, Turkish fans riot after soccer game

Riot police fired tear gas into a crowd of brawling English and Turkish soccer fans in Copenhagen, Denmark, Wednesday after at least three people were stabbed in violence surrounding the UEFA Cup final.

Turkey's Galatasaray beat London Arsenal 4-1 in a penalty shootout after 120 scoreless minutes. Galatasaray is the first Turkish club to win one of Europe's two major championships.

"We are now calling police officers from the rest of Denmark to help us try to divide the supporters after the game and then we will try to take as many of them as possible to the airport," police chief superintendent Mogins Lauridsen said.

At least 24,000 Turkish and English fans flocked to Copenhagen to watch the match.

Lauridsen said a Dutch man who was stabbed in the stomach was in serious condition, and a Turkish man and an English fan suffered superficial stab wounds. At least 26 were arrested and five others were seriously injured, including one person whose ear was partially severed, Lauridsen said.

The fighting broke out in late afternoon when hundreds of supporters of both teams started chasing each other around a downtown square, throwing bottles and uprooting tables and flagpoles as helmeted riot police arrived and fired tear gas.

The violence came amid fears that English hooligans would attempt to avenge the killing of two English fans last month before Leeds' first-leg semifinal in Istanbul against Galatasaray. About 2,000 officers _ 20 percent of Denmark's police force _ were dispatched for the game, with assistance from some two dozen police officers from England, Turkey and other European countries. In an unrelated incident last week, two Albanian soccer officials were shot dead in a restaurant in Tirana after a game.

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_ Compiled from Times wires.