By Corey Charlton
Some 100 migrants rioted in a refugee camp in Belgium after Syrian and Iraqi migrants clashed with Afghans because a young girl was not wearing a headscarf.
The young Syrian girl at the centre of the dispute had been targeted by the Afghans for days over her refusal to wear the headscarf, an item of modesty clothing often enforced in Islamic countries.
But when she was defended by her fellow Syrians, a riot erupted which saw the groups of migrants attacking each other with rubbish bins, chairs and broomsticks.
An Luyten, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross in Leopoldsburg, Belgium, told Flanders News: 'Two or three Afghans had been targeting a young girl from Syria for a couple of days because she was not covering her head.
'You may call this strange, because several other girls were also not wearing a headscarf. It is not clear why they were after this girl in particular.'
The bullying had caused a division within the camp, which erupted into the mass brawl on Friday which saw 11 people arrested and seven people injured.
'The Syrians sided with the young woman, while the Afghans and Iraqis were on the other side. The four that were part of the core portion [responsible] have been transferred to a detention center.
'The seven others are individually housed and distributed in the other reception centers in Flanders.'
Adding that she was 'shocked' by the riot, Ms Luyten said the incident had been traumatic for the other asylum seekers housed at the camp.
'This skirmish we honestly did not see coming, although the argument apparently was already a few days old,' Het Laatste Nieuws reported.
Footage of the fight at the migrant centre showed members of the two groups using everyday items against one another during the riot.
Theo Francken, secretary of State for asylum and migration, said: 'I find it totally unacceptable that some young Afghans find it necessary to tell them to wear a headscarf and that they should not dress against western Syrian girls.
'They come here, they are guests here. We are not with them. They have to adapt to our rules.'