10 Britons held after Crete 'punch-up'

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The Independent Online

Ten British men have been arrested in Crete after an incident involving 50 UK nationals, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) confirmed today.

The men arrested were involved in "quite a big punch-up" on the main beach road in Malia last Saturday, according to an FCO spokesman. A 20-year-old British from Manchester woman who appeared in court yesterday alongside the men was charged with damaging a police vehicle in a " separate incident".

The men have been charged with dangerous bodily harm, disturbing the peace and damage to property, according to the FCO. They were part of a group of 50 UK nationals involved in the disturbance.

The FCO spokesman said: "Quite a big punch-up took place on the main beach road in the early hours of Saturday morning.

"The fighting continued at the medical centre in Malia. We think some windows were smashed.

"The men have been released on bail until August 1."

The Sun reported today that the group of 50 smashed equipment and broke windows in Malia as they charged through a local hospital ward hunting for four patients stabbed in an earlier "street brawl".

The British patients were stabbed or suffered broken bones and taken to the State Medical Centre in Hersonissos, according to The Sun.

The paper also reported that riot police were called to the hospital and police are searching for the ringleader of the gang, who is said to be a British yob arrested previously for drug offences.

The arrested men are aged from 18 to 29 and are from London, the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Greater Manchester, according to the paper.

They were arrested on July 22 and appeared in court yesterday for a hearing.

The men were released "pending continuation of trial", according to a spokeswoman at the FCO.

She said: "We cannot release the men's details because they did not want to inform their next of kin.

"Greek authorities continue their investigation and consular officials have visited all those who had been detained and stand ready to provide assistance as necessary."