4 killed by celebratory gunfire after Iraq's Asian Cup victory
Revellers who poured into the streets of Baghdad and fired guns after Iraq won its first Asian Cup soccer title killed four people and wounded 17 on Sunday, authorities said.
Defying orders from government and police officials, soccer fans shot their weapons into the air to celebrate their team's 1-0 victory over three-time champions Saudi Arabia in the final match held in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Mosquesbroadcast calls for the shooting to stop, while security forces tried to enforce a vehicle ban in the capital.
Elsewhere, police in thesouthern city of Nasiriyah reported at least nine people, including three children, were wounded bycelebratory gunfire.
The jubilation over the team known as the "Lions of the Two Rivers" gave fans a rare respite from Iraq's daily ethnic violence. Fans in Toronto like Salih Moaiedsaid if Sunnis, Shias, Christians and Kurds can all be in one room in Canada watching the game without violence, the same should happen back home.
But extremists seemed determined to destroy any national pride and unity arising fromthesport.
Last Wednesday, two car bombs tore through crowds of revellers in two Baghdad neighbourhoods, killing 50 people and wounding 100 others after Iraq's semifinal victory against South Korea.
In honour of the victims, captain Younis Mahmoud, who scored the lone goal in the final game, joined coach Jorvan Vieira in wearing black armbands as they attended the post-match news conference on Sunday.