Four Deaths, Hooliganism Mar German Celebration of Victory

From Associated Press

Tens of thousands of flag-waving fans greeted West Germany's World Cup champions Monday, a day after four people were killed and hundreds injured when jubilant street celebrations turned violent.

The celebrations began moments after West Germany's 1-0 victory over Argentina in Sunday's World Cup final at Rome.

Bands of neo-Nazi skinheads and other hooligans then began brawling with police in East Berlin and in the West German cities of Hamburg and Bielefeld. Foreigners were singled out for attacks, and stores were looted and vandalized nationwide, police said.

More than 120 people were arrested and at least 60 police officers were among the injured.

Unification and rising German influence on world affairs has intensified patriotic feeling and spawned new extremism.

"I was astonished by what had happened last night," said Detlev Liepmann, a sociologist at West Berlin's Free University. "There is a special group at the right side of our spectrum who are searching for any occasion to do these sort of things."

About 20,000 cheering fans greeted the West German team when it returned to Frankfurt Monday.

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