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12 die in Algerian World Cup celebrations

Algerian authorities say 12 people have died and up to 240 injured during celebrations for Algeria’s 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso that sent the country’s team to the World Cup finals in Brazil.

A government statement said that five celebrating fans were killed when a van slid off the road into a ravine in the mountain town of Bejaia, east of Algiers, while four others died in the southern city of Biskra in a car accident.

The remaining three died in other towns, the statement added without further details.

Across Algeria people poured into the streets after the final whistle Tuesday night to celebrate their team’s qualification for the event in Brazil, with young men driving their cars down the streets and honking their horns with abandon.

Residents described a great deal of reckless behavior in the course of the celebrations that continued throughout the night in some cities.

It is the fourth trip to the World Cup for Algeria and follows closely on its 2010 appearance in South Africa.

Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and other members of the government lunched with the victorious team on Wednesday.

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