Seven hurt in Brighton race fight

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SUSSEX Police were last night questioning seven men over an inter-racial street fight in Brighton early yesterday morning. A further seven men were in hospital with stab wounds, two seriously injured, writes Alex Renton.

Superintendent John Albon described yesterday how police followed 'a trail of blood' through the centre of the town, as 30 people fought a running battle after leaving a nightclub shortly after 2am.

The seven being questioned were all students of Asian origin. All the injured were white. 'What we have is a group of youths from Asian backgrounds and local white youths, who have had friction between them over a number of weeks,' Supt Albon said.

Most of the students were said to be Sikhs studying at Brighton University, formerly the town's polytechnic. Last night the students' union issued a statement condemning racial attacks and adding that it recognised 'the right of people to defend themselves against such attacks'.

Incidents of racial attacks are increasing in the area. In neighbouring Hove last year 20 racial attacks were reported. Others are said to have occurred at the university.

A leader of the Brighton Muslim community, Imam Abduljalil Sajid, said that the violence was the culmination of a string of attacks on Asians in the town. 'I'm worried about a backlash,' he said.