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26 cops injured as riot erupts at Eritrean event in Germany

Published : 17 Sep 2023, 22:07

Updated : 17 Sep 2023, 22:19

  DF News Desk
File Photo: Rene Priebe/dpa.

German police said 26 officers were injured when a riot broke out on the sidelines of an Eritrean event in the south-western city of Stuttgart, reported dpa.

The violence erupted on Saturday afternoon during a gathering of Eritrean associations with about 80 to 90 participants.

The police force, who had 300 officers deployed, described these individuals from Eritrea as being supportive of the dictatorial regime that holds power in the Horn of African country.

Several hundred people who oppose the authoritarian regime under the control of President Isaias Afwerki came out to protest the event. The crowd was assigned an area in which to demonstrate but left it and headed for the meeting venue.

Opponents then attacked participants and police officers with metal bars, bottles, stones and other objects.

The police defended themselves with batons and pepper spray. Back up forces were called in at the regional and federal level, some of them flown in by helicopter.

The participants of the meeting were escorted from the venue under police protection. At the same time, officers encircled around 200 protesters and collected personal information through late Saturday night.

As well as the 26 police officers who were injured, four participants in the pro-regime event and two opposition activists were wounded. Six officers were treated at hospital.

The city of Stuttgart said it would not tolerate such violence and would immediately begin talks with the Eritrean associations. It said there had been no reason to to ban Saturday's event but that procedures would be evaluated.

In July, more than two dozen police officers were injured by rioters at a festival celebrating Eritrea in the central German city of Gießen.

The officers were targeted with a hail of objects, including stones, bottles and smoke bombs as people tried to climb a fence into the festival grounds.

In Stockholm, there were riots at an Eritrea festival in August with more than 50 people injured.