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17 killed in boxing match stampede

Seventeen people have been killed in a stadium stampede after spectators rioted in protest over a local boxer losing a championship match in eastern Indonesia, officials said.

Youth and Sports Minister Roy Suryo said the victims - 11 of them women - were trampled to death as about 1,500 spectators scrambled out of the overcrowded Kota Lama Sport Stadium to escape the riot that broke out just before midnight.

The stadium in Nabire in Papua province has a capacity of 500 to 600, he said. Police said it had only two working exits.

Thirty-two people are being treated in hospital for injuries.

A total of 84 boxers participated in the Bupati (Regent) Cup Championships which started on July 9, said Mr Suryo.

The riot happened after the final of the 128lb (58kg) division between Alvius Rumkorem and Yulianus Pigome, who Mr Suryo said are from different tribes.

Points awarded by a panel of judges to Rumkorem triggered protests by Pigome supporters, he said.

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, said provincial police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Gede Sumerta.

Police and soldiers were deployed to stop the fighting, he said, adding that officers investigating the case have questioned 12 people - five organisers and seven witnesses.

Nabire, about 2,000 miles east of Jakarta, is on Cendrawasih Bay on the north coast of Papua.

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