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Police break up mass ‘social media’ brawl as 400 fans descend on Berlin’s Alexanderplatz

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Police break up mass ‘social media’ brawl as 400 fans descend on Berlin’s Alexanderplatz
Berlin's Alexanderplatz at the time of the brawl. Image: DPA
10:08 CET+01:00
Police at Berlin’s Alexanderplatz broke up a mass brawl between 400 fans of two rival social media ‘influencers’, making several arrests and confiscating knives in the process.

More than 100 officers rushed to the German capital's Alexanderplatz, a popular tourist destination, on Thursday evening after more than 400 young people attended a mass brawl organized between two rival social media ‘influencers’, German media has been reporting.

SEE ALSO: WATCH the moment the Alexanderplatz brawl kicked off

Two prominent ‘YouTube stars’ - Stuttgart’s Thatsbekir and Berlin’s Bahar Al Amood - called upon their followers to meet at Alexanderplatz at 5pm on Thursday. Around 50 of the 400 set upon each other and began fighting before the police intervened, spraying tear gas to disperse the crowd. 

SEE ALSO: Authorities push ahead with plan to give Alexanderplatz an ‘American makeover’

Around 20 of those in attendance moved to the underground area of the station, where they hurled rocks at each other from the tracks of the U8 line. 

The Berliner Morgenpost reported that the police prevented a knife attack after one of the men threatened to stab another. Police confiscated two knives from the accused. 

It wasn't until 9:30pm that police managed to restore calm to the area. Nine were arrested in the aftermath of the brawl, while 13 criminal cases have been lodged. 

The police union spoke out on Twitter, holding members of the German ‘rap scene’ accountable for the escalation in violence.

“We see in the rap scene and increasingly also with other influencers that they are negligent with their influence; it seems to be in fashion to inflame tensions simply to get more clicks and more followers," they said.

One of the influencers who was apparently injured in the attack, Thatsbekir, spoke on Instagram on Thursday evening saying “I need a break”. According to the Morgenpost, his manager said that he should not be held accountable for the incident.  

Al Amood also wrote on Instagram that he had tried to speak to the police to deescalate the tensions, but they “refused to listen". 

As reported by Focus, Alexanderplatz is one of the seven ‘crime hot spots’ (kriminalitätsbelasteten Orte) in Berlin, where the police always maintain a presence. Berlin police chief Barbara Slowik has promised to triple the police presence in these hot spots in the future. 

The square in central Berlin has been the site of violent encounters before, prompting police to open a 24-hour station at the square in late 2017.

 
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