After rival migrant clans brawled in the German city of Essen, even larger clan groups gathered less than 24 hours later at the same location to fight, resulting in a stabbing that left one man seriously injured. Police officials say the tensions between rival migrant gangs are the main motive behind the clashes, but fears for a more widespread conflict are also growing.
The first mass brawl happened on Saturday and involved approximately 30 people in Essen’s Altendorf district. Police say that during this first incident, a number of arrests were made, but no one was seriously injured and there were no weapons involved. However, over 100 individuals belonging to rival clans then gathered at the same place the next day on Sunday, and this time they were armed with knives and sticks; they also utilized furniture and even plates as weapons during this second melee.
A video of the incident shows large masses of migrant clans battling it out on the street.
One man was seriously injured with a stab wound to the neck and remains in the hospital, but a number of other participants were injured as well, according to the German Die Welt news outlet.
According to local reports, the trigger for the violence was likely a dispute between two large families. The feud may have been sparked by a Cologne music manager, who has several rappers signed under contract, after he was insulted by a member of another extended family.
North Rhine-Westphalia’s Minister of the Interior Herbert Reul has increasingly tried in recent years to take action against gang violence, especially in the Ruhr area, a place where migrant clan crime remains a major problem.
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The public prosecutor demanded a 6-month suspended sentence against the two Afghans, and a fine for a third participant
Clan crisis could spiral
Despite the state making it a priority to fight clan crime, a Die Welt report indicates that “residents of the district have given up hope that the German state can still create order here.”
After initially refusing to speak to a reporter, one witness said that “a few hundred Arabs” fought on Saturday at Altendorfer Strasse and attacked each other with knives and furniture. He saw that one person had been stabbed in the neck but refused to give his name, which the Die Welt report notes is the common position for those who witness crimes in the district. The man said that the feud between the clans will not end.
“It will continue and get worse,” he said, forming a pistol with his right hand and pulling its invisible trigger with his index finger. He warned that “if the boy dies, they’ll shoot here,” referring to the seriously injured man in the hospital.
After a migrant clan member was stabbed to death this year by a rival clan, police reported that clan members were seeking out the murder suspect themselves and were looking to serve him “vigilante justice.” Germany has long been plagued by migrant clan violence, along with countries like Sweden, where up to 40 clans are believed to be operating.