Mass drunken scuffle breaks out in suburban train after Minsk's City Day festivities

A mass drunken scuffle occurred in a Minsk-Pukhovichi night suburban train mostly crowded with youths returning home from Minsk when they attended City Day festivities on September 9.

Witnesses say that the scuffle, which involved dozens of drunken men, was between residents of different villages near Minsk, including Machulishchi and Rudensk. Many were brutally beaten. There were only two police officers in the train and they could not stop the raging thugs, a witness told BelaPAN.

When the train reached Machulishchi at about 00:20 a.m., locals pulled the emergency brake and, reinforced by arriving supporters from outside, did not let the train take off, seeking to settle with their alleged offenders. When the train began moving, a crowd of some 100 on the platform assailed it with stones. A young woman was reportedly badly injured in the face by a rock. According to police, windows were destroyed in four cars.

As Mikhail Nelipovich, deputy chief of the interior ministry's transport police department, told BelaPAN on Monday, police immediately arrested two participants and have already identified 15. The Minsk transport police office has launched a case under Article 339 of the Criminal Code, which penalizes hooliganism.

Mr. Nelipovich denied accusations of inaction.