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Riot outside MTV event in Madrid; 11 arrests

The Associated Press, Saturday, September 22, 2012, 9:08am (PDT)

MADRID (AP) -- Fans trying to attend a free event hosted by MTV rioted outside a Madrid theater early Saturday after it closed its doors to avoid exceeding capacity limits, officials said. About 60 people sustained minor injuries and 11 others were arrested.

Thousands of people had turned up at the venue late Friday for the lineup of Spanish Indie music acts, police said. Once the theater was full, scuffles broke out in the streets outside and people began throwing bottles.

Riot police, some on horseback, were deployed to the area after garbage containers were set ablaze. Several parked cars were damaged in the unrest and blazing objects were placed in the road to obstruct the arrival of police vehicles.

Hundreds of youngsters ran away from the scene as police vans began to arrive, according to video footage on the website of news agency Europa Press.

"I saw thousands of young people blocking roads near the theater as fire trucks and ambulances began to arrive," taxi driver Jesus Gonzalez said after driving past the area at 3 a.m.

The Metropolitan Police Union said the popularity of the event had however caught Madrid city council, a co-sponsor of the event, by surprise.

Another free pop concert, with a lineup of Spanish pop-music acts, was scheduled at the same venue by MTV for Saturday night.

MTV officials didn't immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

"Once again MTV causes mayhem in Madrid with two days of concerts," according to posters advertising the event, called "MTV Madrid Beach."

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