The video has been circulating on social media in both Lebanon and Germany: A street in Essen, a city in western Germany, where pedestrians are running in confusion.
In the video taken Friday evening, people can be seen striking each other and water cannons being used on the crowd. One can hear the phrases "Get out, idiot!" and "Stay away" in a Levantine Arabic dialect.
According to the German official news agency, DPA, "a collective brawl involving around 80 people broke out on Friday evening in the city of Essen and resulted in several injuries, including two police officers."
The altercation reportedly erupted in front of a restaurant and "drew dozens of onlookers," according to the police, who added that iron bars and knives were found at the scene.
Several German media outlets, including the tabloid Bild, claim that "hundreds of people clashed" Friday and that "the police managed to arrest around 150 Lebanese individuals." The official agency did not provide any information about the nationalities of the people involved.
DPA reported that a significant number of police officers and a helicopter were mobilized to contain the incident in an operation that continued until dawn on Saturday.
Several injured individuals were transported to the hospital for treatment, it added. The cause of the brawl is still unclear, but "the police believe it is probably related to clan crime," the agency added.
Several families of Lebanese origin operate as "clans" in Germany, according to experts and the police, and some experts compare them to the Cosa Nostra Italian mafia in New York.
These "Arab clans" attracted public attention in March 2017 with the theft of a 100-kilogram gold coin from a museum in Berlin. The sizable loot was stolen overnight from the prestigious Bode Museum.
According to Bild, the police "assume that the groups are rival families from Castrop-Rauxel," a city northeast of Essen where an earlier brawl erupted on Thursday.
"Members of a Syrian family and members of a Lebanese family attacked each other with clubs, knives, and machetes," continues the German tabloid, referring to the events of Friday evening.
"A 23-year-old man was fatally stabbed," and an investigation is underway, it reported. "Around 300 Lebanese and 200 Syrians were present in the Ruhr metropolis (Essen) on Friday evening. Apparently, a show of force was at the heart of the incidents," added Bild without providing further details.