Russian football fans arrested after Germany attack

© Fabrizio Bensch
Six Russian football fans have been arrested in Cologne, Germany, after reportedly attacking Spanish tourists. The fans had arrived from Marseille, France, where fighting between Russian and English fans supporters marred the build-up to their Euro 2016 clash.

The suspects, aged between 26 and 30, were said to have acted in an "extremely aggressive and brutal manner" according to German police, and attacked three Spanish nationals – two tourists and their guide – on Thursday evening. One of the victims was seriously wounded as the Russians "beat and kicked" them, police said.

Five of the six attackers were arrested on site, while the sixth was eventually picked up at the Cologne-Bonn Airport, where the group had been due to board a flight. They apparently had tickets for the Russian matches against England and Slovakia, meaning they were most likely returning from the tournament.

Police said that the suspects were carrying "typical objects used by hooligans including masks and gumshields," but could not confirm what had triggered the attack.

The six detainees could face up to 10 years in prison if they are convicted of the charges brought against them. Sergei Belyayev, press attache at the Russian Embassy in Berlin, told Interfax that "the Germans have brought them under three headings: 'disturbing public order', 'bodily injury' and 'resisting Police,'" and that all three were serious charges, with the "maximum period for them ranging from three to 10 years."

According to Belyayev, the embassy would provide assistance to the suspects if requested:

"This consular assistance would, of course, provided. Our diplomats are going to meet at least some of them. Most likely, it will be tonight," said Belyayev.

German police said they will contact their French colleagues to determine if the men had been involved in the fan violence that has plagued Euro 2016 in France.

On Thursday, a French court jailed three Russian football fans over fan fighting around the England-Russia game in Marseille. The trio received jail terms from 12 to 24 months and will be banned from entering France for two years. In addition, up to 20 fans were due to be deported after the mass brawls last weekend.

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