Community split causes battle among Sikhs
5 November 2007, Hamburg (dpa) - Police investigating a pitched battle among Sikhs in the German port city of Hamburg said Monday there were indications it had been preceded by a split within the religious community.
5 November 2007
Hamburg (dpa) - Police investigating a pitched battle among Sikhs in the German port city of Hamburg said Monday there were indications it had been preceded by a split within the religious community.
A gurdwara, or temple, in the city was attacked on Sunday by carloads of men armed with knives, steel bars and hockey sticks, apparently from the other gurdwara in Hamburg. Eight men and one woman were wounded.
Police said they had released three suspects. The inquiry so far indicated there had been tension within the Sikh community which had led to a separation into two groups.
About 70 people took part in the battle.
Patrolmen called to the Gurdwara Sahib - Singh Sabha in a northern district of the city had to watch helplessly and wait for armed reinforcements to separate the two factions as they continued to yell insults at one another.
An ambulance helicopter sent to evacuate the wounded could not land because of the tension, and an ambulance bus usually used for disasters had to be brought to the scene instead.
At the second temple, the Gurdwara Singh Sabha, there was a hostile reaction when police and ambulances arrived.
A policeman fired a warning shot in the air when a 24-year-old man allegedly threatened the officer with a knife.
The Sikh community in the whole of Germany is believed to number about 12,000.
Subject: German news