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 Germany: Dozens of injuries in clashes at Kurdish festival

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Germany: Dozens of injuries in clashes at Kurdish festival  9.9.2012  



 
80 police hurt after riot at Kurdish festival in Germany. Photo:
DAPD
80 police hurt after riot at Kurdish festival in Germany

September 9, 2012


MANNHEIM, Germany,— Eighty police officers were injured, one seriously, after riots erupted at a Kurdish festival in Germany that attracted around 40,000 Kurds from around Europe, authorities said on Sunday.

Rioters hurled stones, bottles and fireworks at police and damaged 13 police vehicles as violence spun out of control in the western city of Mannheim. Authorities responded with pepper spray. There were 31 arrests.

Police said the violence was touched off when festival organisers tried to prevent a 14-year-old boy entering the grounds with the flag of a banned group.

As tempers rose, the organisers called the police, who were attacked on arrival. Thousands of festival-goers were involved in the violence late on Saturday, police said.

Authorities also seized four knives and a knuckle-duster.

A police spokesman said that when officers reached the scene, they were immediately attacked by dozens of visitors to the festival, who appeared to have interpreted their arrival as a “provocation.” These, the spokesman said, were cheered on by several thousand others attending the event.

Related events in the days leading up to the festival were also marred by violence. On Friday, police forced an early end to a youth march from the French city of Strasbourg to Mannheim after things threatened to get out of hand. Police said that during the march there had been a number of verbal and physical assaults. Two days earlier,www.ekurd.net seven people, including five police officers, were injured in clashes between the Kurdish youth and Turks as the march was making its way along the route south of Mannheim.

Watch the video of the Kurdish Festival in Mannheim 2012

Kurdish Festival in Mannheim – Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yslxkddymlc

Kurdish Festival in Mannheim – Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUjhkcno1wo

Kurdish Festival in Mannheim – Part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQLKV5LN79g

Copyright ©, respective author or news agency, AFP | DW  

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