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Several gored at Pamplona bull run

PAMPLONA, Spain -- Thousands tempted fate and several people were injured as Spain's annual Pamplona festival got off to a slippery and dangerous start.

Around 2,000 people joined six bulls and six steers for the world's most famous running of the bulls on Sunday.

At least six people were injured, according to the Hospital de Navarra, which is coordinating reports from all area hospitals.

Three of the injured -- a 19-year-old woman from Kansas, a 19-year-old Australian man and a 32-year-old Spanish man from Madrid -- were gored by the bulls and the other three were listed as "non-bull" injuries.

Two Spanish women, aged 21 and 30, and a 37-year-old Englishman were also injured in the course of the eight-minute run. Hospital de Navarra said that none of the injuries was serious.

Several of the bulls slipped on the dew-covered streets and fell, drawing out the run to seven more minutes, about twice the duration of a clean run.

Television commentators called it an unusually dangerous run because of the crowded streets, and because several bulls got separated from the herd.

The run followed about 20 hours of non-stop partying by participants.

"Why am I running? I love bulls and I love parties," Rafael, 28, told Reuters news agency.

The Pamplona festival, made famous by Ernest Hemingway's 1927 novel "Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises," traditionally includes heavy drinking by the million revellers in the city.

The practice began in 1591 with the need to move the bulls from the countryside to the arena. Daredevils began running in front of the animals in the 1600s.

Since 1924, there have been 13 recorded deaths in the eight-day event. Most recently, a young American was gored to death in 1995.

Two days before the festival began, a small contingent of animal rights activists staged a mock run through Pamplona's streets.

The members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) ran through the streets naked. Local police did not arrest them, chalking it up to the town's party atmosphere.

After the daily runnings, the bulls will take part in a bullfight in which they are usually killed.

-- CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman in Pamplona contributed to this report


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