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Indonesia Football Match Stampede Leaves 174 dead

At least 174 people died and hundreds got injured in a crowd crush after police fired tear gas to dispel riots following an Indonesian league football match, in one of the worst football tragedies.

“Inna lillahi wa Inna ilayhi rajioon. Just devastating. May Allah have mercy on them all and grant their families ease. #Indonesia,” Dr. Omar Suleiman wrote on Twitter.

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Riots broke out after the game ended Saturday evening with host Arema FC of East Java’s Malang city losing to Persebaya of Surabaya 3-2.

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Disappointed after their team’s loss, thousands of supporters of Arema started throwing bottles and other objects at players and soccer officials.

Fans flooded the Kanjuruhan stadium pitch in protest and riot police responded by firing tear gas, including toward the stadium’s stands, causing panic among the crowd.

“It had gotten anarchic. They started attacking officers, they damaged cars,” said Nico Afinta, police chief in East Java, adding that two police officers were among the dead, BBC reported.

Fleeing fans “went out to one point at the exit. Then there was a build-up, in the process of accumulation there was shortness of breath, lack of oxygen,” the officer added.

Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo expressed his deep condolences for the dead in televised remarks Sunday, ESPN reported.

“I deeply regret this tragedy and I hope this is the last soccer tragedy in this country, don’t let another human tragedy like this happen in the future,” Widodo said.

“We must continue to maintain sportsmanship, humanity and a sense of brotherhood of the Indonesian nation.”

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Messages of condolences poured in from different clubs worldwide.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim state with Muslims making up around 85 percent of its 237-million population.