German police said that dozens of people, including at least 26 policemen, were injured during the unrest surrounding the Eritrean cultural festival in Stuttgart in the southwest of the country, reports Anadolu.
Just before the start of the event on Saturday afternoon, around 200 protesters gathered in the area outside and began throwing rocks, bottles and other objects at police officers and event participants.
Six of the 26 injured police officers were treated in the hospital for their injuries, the police said. According to the police, four participants of the event and two demonstrators were also injured.
Saturday’s protests were the latest in a series of disturbances surrounding Eritrean cultural events in Germany.
In July, 22 police officers were injured in a clash at an Eritrean festival in the city of Giessen in western Germany. Clashes between supporters and opponents of the Eritrean government in Tel Aviv in early September led to one of the most violent street clashes among African asylum seekers and migrants.
The event was organized on Saturday by several groups considered close to the government of Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki.
Tens of thousands of people fled Eritrea to Europe, and many claim they were mistreated by Afwerki’s repressive government. Clashes over rallies like Saturday’s highlight a deep divide among members of the Eritrean diaspora, those who have remained close to the government and those who have fled to live in exile and strongly oppose Afwerki.
Stuttgart Police Vice President Carsten Hoefler condemned the protesters’ actions on Saturday.
City officials said there was no reason to ban the rally, but that they would take steps to prevent similar disturbances in the future.
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