THOUSANDS of tourists have headed for northern Spain to take part in the famous event.

AT least two men were trampled on the first day of Pamplona's famous running of the bulls festival yesterday. One suffered a head injury and the other an elbow injury but neither was considered serious. Their nationalities were unknown. Television commentators called it one of the most injury-free bull runs in recent memory. “It was a very clean running,” an emergency worker said. Hundreds of people dressed in the traditional white with red scarves took part, running alongside six prime fighting bulls and a few steer included to prod the bulls along. The San Fermin festival is held every year from July 7-14. The animals set off each morning on an 825-metre (half-mile) stampede from the corral where the bulls are kept to the outdoor arena where they will be killed by matadors later in the day. The last death of a person came in 1995, when a 22-year-old American was fatally gored. Up to half a million visitors descend on Pamplona for the festival, many of them spending the night on the streets singing, dancing and drinking ahead of the morning run. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an international animal rights group, have again mounted a campaign to persuade foreigners to boycott the festival. “Many tourists are just not aware of the cruelty that goes on in bullfighting or that the bulls that run in the morning are killed later.” said Toni Vermelli, PETA's campaign coordinator. The spectacle is repeated each day till July 14 and is broadcast live in Spain.


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