BERLING, Sep 17 (Aljazeera) - More than 200 Eritrean opposition supporters have been arrested in Germany after violence broke out on Saturday during a cultural festival organised by the supporters of Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki in the southern city of Stuttgart, local police said on Sunday.
At least German 26 police officers were injured in the riot that broke out on Saturday, drawing condemnation from German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser on Sunday.
“Foreign conflicts must not be carried out in our country,” she said on Sunday about the violence that erupted after around 200 protesters began throwing stones, bottles, and other items at police officers and participants of a pro-Isaias gathering. Four participants and two opposition supporters were also among the injured.
Nearly 300 law enforcement personnel deployed to the scene found themselves caught in “massive violence” between the two opposing groups, said Carsten Hofle, deputy police commissioner in Stuttgart.
“Neither the intensity nor the extent of the violence was foreseen,” he said.
The event saw up to 90 Eritrea government supporters face off against several hundred opposition backers who refused to go to the site designated by authorities to hold the protest, police said.
It added that officers were attacked with bats, nails, metal rods, bottles and stones.