18 killed in stampede at boxing match in Indonesia

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At least 18 people were killed in a stadium stampede after spectators rioted to protest a local boxer’s loss in a championship match in eastern Indonesia, police said on Monday.

The victims, mostly women, were trampled to death as about 1,500 spectators scrambled out the stadium to escape the riot that broke out just before midnight Sunday, said Lt Col Gede Sumerta Jaya, police spokesman in Papua province. Kota Lama Sport Stadium in the town of Nabire had only two working exits.

Points awarded by a panel of judges decided the championship match for the Bupati Cup, or Regent Cup. The losing boxer’s supporters threw chairs at the judges and the winner’s supporters responded by throwing bottles and broken chairs, panicking people in the stadium, Jaya said.

Jaya said 12 of the dead were women, and more than 40 other spectators were injured and hospitalised.

Police and soldiers were deployed to stop the fighting. Nabire, about 3,200 km (2,000 miles) east of Jakarta, is located on Cendrawasih Bay on the north coast of Papua.

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