Four young men were reported to judicial authorities over the weekend in Pisa after 10 Italian citizens and 30 asylum seekers engaged in a mass brawl in what the local police described as a revenge attack by the migrants.
The brawl took place on Saturday night when asylum seekers in the Sardinian city of Sassari approached 20 Italian young men near the Dettori Square. The fight occurred after an asylum seeker claimed that several Italians had beaten him and returned to the nearby asylum home on Solari road where he recruited other asylum seekers to get revenge on his alleged attacker, L’Union Sarda reports.
Police arrested four young men including two asylum seekers in connection with the brawl, a 19-year-old from the Ivory Coast, an 18-year-old from the Gambia, and two 20-year-olds from Sardinia. The situation was soon brought to a calm after police officers arrived on the scene.
The officers found various weapons including iron bars in the possession of some of the participants which have been passed on to investigators. Officials also say they are working with CCTV footage from the area to identify others who were involved in the mass brawl.
Mayor of Sassari Nicola Sanna commented on the brawl saying: “We are committed as of now to the need to strengthen control actions, which are already in place to protect the safety of all, residents and migrants.”
Sanna went on to add that the city had received more migrants than originally agreed to and that he would raise the issue at a future meeting with the Interior Ministry.
The mass brawl is not the first time local residents have clashed with newly arrived asylum seekers in European countries. In the German city of Bautzen last year 80 Germans and 20 migrants fought each other on the city’s streets.
While mass brawls are not as common in Italy, migrant riots have been a much bigger problem for Italian authorities. Earlier this year, a mob of 63 North African migrants terrorised passengers aboard a ferry assaulting them and stealing their belongings after drinking a large amount of alcohol.
In August, migrants in Rome rioted and fought with police after being evicted from a public square where they were camped out in protest of the lack of housing for them in the city.