Authorities: 44 injured in soccer clashes in Marseille, Nice

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At least 44 people have been wounded in clashes that erupted between soccer fans in the southern French cities of Marseille and Nice, officials said Sunday. (WPVI)

At least 44 people have been wounded in clashes that erupted between soccer fans in the southern French cities of Marseille and Nice, officials said Sunday.

Fighting broke out all day in the port city of Marseille, where Russia and England fans clashed with each other and police before and after a European Championship match.

Regional police chief Laurent Nunez said most of the injuries in Marseille were minor but that four were serious and that one of them - an England supporter - was in serious but stable condition. He said 15 people have been arrested, seven on Saturday and eight more Sunday.

Local officials in the Cote d'Azur city of Nice said clashes broke out after French soccer hooligans fought with fans from Poland and Northern Ireland.

Emeline Combi, a 24-year-old Frenchwoman visiting from Paris, told The Associated Press she was on a rooftop restaurant when the friendly atmosphere below suddenly turned ugly.

"We heard noises of broken glass," she said. "It lasted 40 to 45 minutes."

Regional authorities said in a statement posted to their Facebook page that nine people were hospitalized following the fighting, including a woman who suffered cranial trauma after falling from a lamppost. Three people were arrested.

French officials have been on the defensive over the clashes, which were carried live omn television. Nunez said the level of policing was "absolutely proportional" to the threat faced.

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This story has been corrected to show the name is Emeline Combi, not Colombi.
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