BC-WTP--Croatia-Players Attacked,126

3 Croats face hate crime charges in attack on Serbian team

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Croatian police say three people detained over an attack on Serbian water polo team players at a seaside cafe face hate crime charges. The incident in the Adriatic port city of Split occurred before a regional league match between Mornar Split and Red Star Belgrade.

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatian police say three people detained over an attack on Serbian water polo team players at a seaside cafe face hate crime charges.

The incident in the Adriatic port city of Split, which occurred on Saturday before a regional league match between Mornar Split and Red Star Belgrade, further strained relations between Serbia and Croatia, which fought a war in the 1990s.

Red Star goalkeeper Alesandro Kralj says he was forced to jump into the freezing sea to avoid the attackers wielding sticks and a knife and "save myself." The Serbian team returned to Belgrade without playing the match.

In Belgrade, Kralj showed at a news conference what he says was a knife wound on his leg.

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