Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Kurdish Culture Enriches Europe: 80 Police Wounded in Mannheim

80 police officers were wounded on Saturday, one of them seriously, amid heavy rioting at the edge of a so-called Kurdish cultural festival in Mannheim. Most were injured by thrown stones or bricks or bottles, said the police. Fireworks were also ignited. 13 police vehicles were smashed up. The officers used pepper spray. There were 31 arrests.

Around 40,000 Kurds from all over Europe came to the cultural festival in Mannheim. For hours, around 2,500 violent or violence-willing Kurds and 600 police officers confronted one another in the Maimarkt area. Mannheim university clinic initiated its emergency plan: 40 doctors and 60 carers maintained a state of readiness; five operating rooms were ready for use.

According to police, the riots may have been triggered when a 14-year-old wanted to unfurl the flag of a prohibited organisation on the festival grounds. Event marshals had attempted to prevent it. When this failed, they had called the police for help. Then the police were suddenly attacked by multiple visitors.

The Kurds engaged in the violence were loudly supported by many thousands of other visitors attending the event. A police spokesman said they had "no chance" of being able to calm the situation. Calm was only restored when the event ended in the evening.
Source: Bild

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