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Four held for firecracker attack at basketball game
Etgar Lefkovits
11/13/2007
Wounded security guard undergoes nine-hour surgery.
Four Israeli basketball fans were under arrest Monday for allegedly hurling a firecracker courtside during a premier league basketball game in Jerusalem, police said. A security guard underwent nine hours of surgery Monday at Jerusalem's Hadassah-University Hospital to reattach his fingers and restore blood flow to his hand. Three of his fingers were damaged in the blast. The large firecracker exploded near the end of Sunday night's nationally televised game between Hapoel Jerusalem and Hapoel Holon. Jerusalem police overnight Sunday arrested four suspects - all fans of Hapoel Holon - in the incident, including a minor, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said. The two prime suspects were remanded in custody for five days on Monday by the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court, while the third adult was ordered held through Wednesday, as police complete their investigation. The key suspect, Yossi Malach, 20, has confessed to hurling the firecracker, and expressed remorse for his action. The 17-year-old minor was placed under house arrest for 30 days, and ordered to stay away from all sports stadiums for 180 days. The blast of the firecracker, which was heard throughout the stadium and on the TV broadcast, sent the security guard falling over in pain and a cloud of white smoke billowing in the air. "There was a huge boom and the whole place was shaking and everyone was panicking," said Mikey Leibowitz, 13, who was at the stadium. As rescue workers rushed to treat the guard, the game was called off, and fans were told to go home.
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