BC-WPO--Croatia-Players Attacked, 1st Ld-Writethru,177

3 arrested in Croatia after Serbian water polo team attack

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Croatian police say they have detained three suspects over an attack on Serbian water polo team players that forced one to jump into the freezing sea to get away. The incident in the Croatian Adriatic port 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.

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatian police on Sunday detained three suspects over an attack on Serbian water polo team players that forced one to jump into the freezing sea to get away.

The incident in the Croatian Adriatic port 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. The Serbian team returned to Belgrade without playing the match.

Tensions are still high between the two Balkan neighbors after their war in the 1990s.

The Croatian interior ministry said the three detained men are "linked" with the attack in a seaside cafe and that police are still looking for two additional suspects. A Red Star jersey was found with one of the arrested suspects.

Red Star goalkeeper Alesandro Kralj, who suffered a broken nose in the attack using bats, said he jumped into the sea to avoid being killed.

Serbia has announced it will launch a formal protest against Croatia while the Croatian government condemned the attack and called for swift legal action against the attackers.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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