A mass brawl of around 30 migrants from Afghanistan and other Arab countries turned a quiet area in the Austrian city of Linz into chaos, frightening local residents.At 9:20 am on Thursday morning, residents in the residential area on Böhmerwaldstrasse in the Austrian city of Linz phoned police as around 30 migrants started brawling in the area. One restaurant owner was forced to barricade his establishment to protect his customers from the violence, Kronen Zeitung reports.
Ingmar Goetzloff, owner of the Italian restaurant Rosso di Acqua e Sole, described the incident saying: “There were about thirty youngsters who had formed a group, two were standing in the circle, they were brutally banging on each other, there was a terrible scream, I locked the doors of my restaurant so my guests were safe.”
Goetzloff also said how annoyed he had become that a bench in front of his restaurant had become a meeting place for asylum seekers due to its close proximity to the Linz main train station.
The train station has been a hub for migrants and has led at least one father to call for better police protection as his daughter had been sexually harassed there by migrants.
Local resident Hatto Wedenig also said he was annoyed with the presence of the asylum seekers in the area. “I have just come home with my wife when the violence has taken place, these young people are lounging around here every day, and it is a pity that such a beautiful area can easily be disfigured by such subjects,” he said.
By the time the police arrived on the scene most of the migrants had run away. One suspect was apprehended by police who charged him with suspicion to riot. Hubert Bogner of the Linz City Police Commission said: “These youngsters carry out their turf fights in this way. We can only monitor…”
The incident is not the first mass fight in the city involving migrants. Last year asylum seekers brawled with supporters of Linz football team LASK Linz FC in a fight that involved around 40 people in the heart of the city. It took over 20 police officers armed with pepper spray to eventually restore order.
Migrant on migrant violence has also occurred in the Austrian capital of Vienna. In one case up to 50 asylum seekers, once again from Afghanistan, clashed with each other outside the famous Prater Park. Several of the young men were injured in the fight and 16 were arrested by police.