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African political violence at Eritrean event in Melbourne leaves 10 in hospital

Violence has erupted between Eritrean groups at a reception centre in Melbourne in a clash over politics in the east African nation.

14 were injured, including 10 taken to hospital, after the brawl involving more than 100 people in St Albans where witnesses saw bricks hurled, fences ripped out to use as weapons, and windows smashed.

“[They were] running at them, swinging flags, throwing bricks, pretty much anything they could do,” one witness told 7 News.

An Eritrean group had booked the venue for a cultural festival and were confronted by protesters who oppose the dictatorship in Eritrea.

“Countries that have taken in Eritrean refugees have found those refugees intimidated by the government back home,” foreign affairs expert Dr Keith Suter told the network.

The venue owner estimated the damage to the centre at $40,000.

No charges have been laid.

Police and government officials had met with Eritrean community representatives earlier this week to prevent any possible violence, as similar clashes have occurred in Sweden, Canada, Israel the US and Germany in recent months.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the deportation of Eritrean immigrants involved in clashes in Tel Aviv that left more than 100 injured, including 30 police officers, in September.

Eritrean violence in St Albans, Melbourne (Facebook)


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