Thousands throw tomatoes in Spain's annual Tomatina festival

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BUNOL, SPAIN (Reuters) - Thousands of revellers hurled around 145 tonnes of tomatoes at each other on Wednesday (August 29) during the annual "Tomatina" festival in the Spanish town of Bunol, 38 kilometers west of Valencia.

A fire cracker signal marked the start of La Tomatina at 11am (0900 GMT) and during the next hour, six trucks loaded with tomatoes drove through Bunol's main street providing red ammunition for the revelers to enjoy themselves.

The food fight originates from a spontaneous bust-up amongst villagers in 1945. It was banned for a time during the 1950s at the height of General Francisco Franco's dictatorship, but has gained popularity since it was reinstated, drawing a huge international crowd.

At its peak, the Tomatina attracted approximately 45,000 people, but it has now become a ticketed event with only 22,000 places, 5,000 of which go to local residents.

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