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Cypriot Police Probe Car Arson, Fan Attack after Soccer Game

NICOSIA — Six cars were deliberately set ablaze a short distance from the soccer stadium where league leader Apollon Limassol played second-place APOEL Nicosia, Cypriot police said Monday.

Police said the arson attack occurred 30 minutes before the end of Sunday’s match. Apollon won 3-2, giving the Limassol team a four-point cushion over APOEL with two matches left in the season.

Police are also looking into the circumstances of an attack against the car of a 59-year-old man and his 26-year-old passenger along a stretch of highway near Tsirion Stadium shortly after the end of the match.

The driver and his passenger were attacked by a group of young men armed with rocks and sticks, according to police.

The latest soccer-related violence came a week after a huge brawl outside Antonis Papdopoulos Stadium in Larnaca ahead of the match between Anorthosis Famagusta and Omonia Nicosia. A 20-year-old man was left with serious burns over much of his body.

In that incident, opposing groups reportedly hurled stones and firecrackers at each other while setting fires outside the stadium. The violence prompted Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to order a detailed report into the recent incidents and to urge police to beef up security during matches.

Government spokesman Marios Pelekanos said in a written statement the government would be “relentless” in its efforts to prevent similar “acts of violence or unruly behavior.”

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