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Madrid youth riot at television music festival

Sixty people attending a music festival in Madrid on Saturday were injured when youths began hurling bottles, burning bins after clashes with police outside the venue. Eleven people were arrested following the incident.

Police said thousands of young music fans showed up at the Madrid Beach open air festival hoping to gain access to the free event being staged by music television station MTV.

Youths began rioting when organizers were forced to close the arena once it reached capacity.

The group swelled to around 1,000 youths, and spilled out onto nearby streets. A city police officer, who asked not to be named, said the riot lasted around four hours, with dozens of officers deployed to quell the situation.

"Various people tried to enter the festival, but the venue was full. There were disturbances and containers were set on fire," bus stops were trashed, and "there was a shower of bottles," he added.

"The city was overwhelmed and called for reinforcements from the national police."

The officer described the incident as "unusual" in size and intensity.

Local media reported the youths were fired upon by police using rubber bullets.

Of the 60 injured, 10 people were taken to hospital, an emergency services official told national radio station RNE.

The 11 alleged rioters have been charged with assaulting police officers, the officer said.

jlw/kms (AP, AFP, Reuters)