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SOCCER VIOLENCE

17 Deportivo ‘ultras’ arrested in Galicia in second phase of brawl operation

Number of detentions over Madrid fight that left one soccer fan dead rises to 58

Fans gather at the site where the Deportivo ‘ultra’ was thrown into the Manzanares.
Fans gather at the site where the Deportivo ‘ultra’ was thrown into the Manzanares.

Seventeen hardcore ultra soccer fans were arrested in A Coruña on Thursday morning as police launched the second phase of their operation against those responsible for a brawl between rival supporters that left one man dead in Madrid on November 30, investigation sources said.

All were members of soccer club Deportivo de la Coruña’s Riazor Blues hooligan group and all are alleged to have been involved in the fight against radical Atlético Madrid fans on the banks of the Manzanares River, in which 43-year-old Depor fan Francisco Javier Romero Taboada, “Jimmy,” died.

All those arrested were members of Deportivo de la Coruña’s Riazor Blues hooligan group

The arrests follow the first phase in Madrid of the so-called Operation Neptune – named after the fountain where Atlético fans traditionally gather to celebrate trophies – in which 41 people, all members of the capital club’s Frente Atlético ultra faction, were arrested.

The number of detainees may rise further still from the total of 58, given that the investigation is ongoing.

Among those arrested in phase one were at least two people alleged to be directly responsible for Romero Taboada’s death. According to investigation sources, a 33-year-old taxi driver from the Madrid satellite town of Parla and a 21-year-old man from Alcobendas, in the north of the capital, may have thrown the Galician fan into the river after he had been brutally beaten.

Those detained in Madrid, who also include a soldier, a Civil Guard officer, three minors and one woman, remain in police custody ahead of their expected arraignment on Thursday.

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