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Thousands dodge bulls at Pamplona festival

Thousands of runners dodged the horns of fighting bulls on Pamplona’s streets on the first day of Spain’s best known fiesta on Thursday.
A group of people run next to a Santiago
Runners dodge a fighting bull Thursday during the first day of the San Fermin festival in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona.Pedro Armestre / AFP - Getty Images
/ Source: Reuters

Thousands of runners dodged the horns of half-tone fighting bulls on Pamplona’s streets on the first day of Spain’s best known fiesta on Thursday.

There were no gorings in a short run lasting just over two minutes, but two people were hospitalized after suffering bruises on their head and back.

One bull slipped on the notorious sharp corner of Estafeta, broke a horn and appeared to be disorientated.

People from all over the world take part in the San Fermin festival made famous by Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” — or "Fiesta" as it is sometimes known — joining Spanish runners mostly dressed in traditional white with red neckerchiefs and sashes.

Each morning over a week in July, six bulls are set loose on a 2,700-foot course through the cobbled streets of the northern Spanish city where thrill seekers run with the half-tone animals to the bull ring.

Animal rights groups complain the San Fermin is cruel to animals and hundreds of protesters, many wearing just thongs and plastic bull horns, marched through Pamplona on Tuesday in a bid to halt the centuries-old tradition.