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England fans in fresh clashes with riot police in Lille
Photo: AFP

England fans in fresh clashes with riot police in Lille

The Local/AFP · 16 Jun 2016, 00:04

Published: 16 Jun 2016 00:04 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Jun 2016 00:04 GMT+02:00

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There were tense scenes in Lille on Wednesday as French riot police were involved in a stand off with England fans.

Police were seen charging at groups of England fans in apparent effort to clear the streets. That brought an angry response from a number of fans who threw bottles at officers.

At around midnight there remained large groups of fans on the streets along with a huge number of riot police and press. 

It appeared the police were losing patience with the England fans that remained on the streets, many of whom were drunk and intent on carrying on chanting.

Earlier England and Russian fans chased each other through the streets of Lille on Wednesday as the two sets of supporters were involved in more violence.

Videos posted on social media showed large groups of England fans apparently chasing their Russian counterparts as French riot police tried to keep up.

Earlier there were reports that a group of Russian fans had charged at England and Wales supporters who had massed in the city ahead of their match on Thursday.

French police fired tear gas and charged England supporters during the trouble which left at least one injured.

Reporters in the city have stressed however that only a few hundred fans were involved compared to several thousands gathered in the city.

Separately fans were also involved in a brawl on a train heading for Lille where England supporters have gathered ahead of their key match against Wales on Thursday.

Fighting broke out near the main station in Lille, north east France, while a car was seriously damaged.

An AFP reporter saw one fan being treated on the ground. Paramedics appeared to be performing a cardiac massage though the nationality of the injured fan was unclear.

French authorities had drafted in thousands of reinforcements to try and avoid the kind of trouble that broke in Marseille last Saturday.

A separate brawl broke out between England and Wales fans on a train travelling from Calais to Lille. About 15 men were involved, a French security official told AFP.

"There was a fight between England and Wales fans. It was quite violent," the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

Several arrests were made when the train arrived in Lille on Wednesday evening with a British undercover police officer who was onboard helping French authorities to identify the aggressors, the official said.

Wednesday saw hundreds of England fans drinking in the city's bars.

While there was anti-Russian chanting, the atmosphere was largely good natured and there was little trouble.

The Local/AFP (news.france@thelocal.com)

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