A group of irate youths pounced on a Nigerian in Central Nicosia in Cyprus inflicting serious injuries in a racially motivated attack, reports a Cyprus daily newspaper.
The Nigerian was beaten and seriously injured by a club-wielding mob. The attack also affected a passing car with it’s windshield completely smashed in the process. The incident happened on Tuesday night according to police sources.
According to the owner of the car, the 25-year-old was being chased by some 15 youths on Makarios Avenue who wore black t-shirts and wielded clubs.
The Nigerian suffered abrasions and injuries to his upper lip.
He was kept in hospital for observation after he complained of pains in his head.
“He was chased by a group of youths … and in his effort to cross the street he fell on the hood of the car,” police said.
The youths caught up with the man, beating him with the clubs and smashing the car windshield in the process.
Police yesterday could not offer any more details on the incident and would not speculate on the motives of the attack.
“We are treating this seriously,” police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos, without getting into details of the investigation.
The incident coincided with a march through Nicosia — to mark the 36th anniversary of the Turkish invasion — by the National Popular Front (ELAM).
Photos uploaded on the organisation’s website show hundreds of ELAM members, clad in black t-shirts and mostly jeans, wielding Greek flags on thick pieces of wood, and marching with military precision.
ELAM denied any connection with the incident.
“There is no connection (with us). We condemn any incidents,” Christos Christou, a spokesman told the Cyprus Mail.
Christou said the march ended up at the Ledra Palace checkpoint where they held an event condemning the Turkish invasion.
“We departed in cars and buses and returned to our offices, escorted by the police,” he said.
Christou said not everyone wearing a black t-shirt and wielding a club was a member of ELAM and he was not in a position to know what everyone did.
Some two hours before the incident, an eyewitness saw members of the group – near the old Nicosia hospital – on their way to Ledra Palace, harassing two Asian youths.
The witness said the leader of the group was shouting at them prompting the youths to leave the area without further incident.