129 people dead after riot at Indonesian Premier League football match, more than 300 injuries reported

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ANews/AP

Several brawls between supporters of the two rival teams were reported inside the stadium after the Indonesian Premier League game ended in a 3-2 victory for Persebaya Surabaya on Saturday night local time.

The fights prompted riot police to fire tear gas, which caused panic among supporters, said East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta.

Hundreds of people ran to an exit gate in an effort to avoid the tear gas. Some suffocated in the chaos and others were trampled, killing 34 almost instantly.

More than 300 were rushed to nearby hospitals to treat injuries but many died on the way and during treatment, Afinta said.

He said the death toll is likely still increasing since many of about 180 injured victims’ conditions were deteriorating.

A video posted to social media showed riot police descending onto the field – using batons and shields to disperse the crowd.

In a statement released by The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI), Secretary General Yunus Nusi condemned the riots.

”PSSI strongly condemns this riot. However, once again we can not conclude anything. However, harsh sanctions will befall Arema if everything is proven. The PSSI investigation team will soon leave for Malang,” added Yunus.

The PSSI has announced that they will be suspending the league for one week pending an investigation. They have also announced that Arema FC could be banned from hosting games for the rest of the season.

Indonesia has a long history of football-related violence.

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