VIDEO: Watch as brawl breaks out at UK community centre
POLICE are appealing for witnesses to come forward after an extraordinary video emerged online showing a mass brawl involving up to 800 people in a Bangladeshi community centre in Britain.
The dramatic footage includes dozens of chairs thrown across the room, people bleeding from wounds and a police officer caught in the middle of it all striking a member of the public.
The fight has reportedly now been watched more than 100,000 times after the video was shared on social media, and local politicians say it all began with an argument during the AGM of the Bangladeshi Centre in Leeds.
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West Yorkshire Police said 13 people had been arrested in connection with the incident for offences including public order and assault. Six people required treatment for injuries, though none were thought to be life-threatening.
Arif Hussain, who represents the Harehills area for Leeds City Council, said the fight was between two rival groups at the community centre who were vying to take charge of how it is run.
Describing the "shocking" and "unacceptable" scenes, he told the Mirror Online: "There are 802 members and it's up to them to decide who they want to run the centre, just like for an MP or a councillor.
"It all started a long time ago," he said, adding: "It's not great for the community, it's not great for the area and it's not great for the city."
Chief Inspector Nik Adams, of Leeds District Police, said in a statement that the event which took place at around noon on Saturday was attended from the start by "a small number of neighbourhood PCs and PSOs".
"[They were] faced with a violent incident involving large numbers of people during which they themselves have come under attack," he said.
"They quickly called in further officers to assist and within minutes brought the incident under control."
On the moment in the video when an officer can be seen brawling with a community centre member, a police spokesman told the Mirror it was "an act of self-defence".
He said: "It's a slap rather than a punch, and if you examine the image it's because the man has attempted to grab the officer's baton."
Police said patrols had been stepped up in the area, and appealed for anyone with information to contact Leeds District CID or speak to one of the officers near the scene.