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Riot in Sierra Leone Over Midget No-Show

9:47 PM, Dec 6, 2003   |    comments
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Daylong radio ads had whipped up excitement and ticket sales for Friday night's scheduled performance by the two Nigerian entertainers, Aki and Paw Paw. The Nigerian performers failed to show by early morning. Organizers put the two local dwarf comedians on the stage instead. Fans rioted, throwing projectiles and smashing windows, light fixtures and hundreds of chairs. Witnesses said police fired tear gas. Authorities said 30 people were arrested, including eight who allegedly had tried to steal the stadium's seats. Dozens of show-goers were reported injured in the melee. Saturday, blood splattered parts of the stadium. Acting President Solomon Berewa, filling in while President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah is at a Commonwealth summit in Nigeria, toured the riot site Saturday and condemned the violence. Sierra Leone's National Stadium was built as a gift from China. The stadium was under repairs for damage from the West African nation's devastating 10-year rebellion, ended in January 2002.

The Associated Press

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