5 Chechens Arrested in Oslo Asylum Clash

APPolice securing the area around the center for asylum seekers in Oslo on Friday, after Thursday night's attack.
OSLO — A group of men wielding knives, machetes and iron bars stormed into a center for asylum-seekers in a nighttime attack that left more than 20 people hurt, police said Friday.

Five Chechen men were arrested after the violence late Thursday, which police said might have been sparked by tension between different ethnic groups at the facility.

Police spokesman Per Tore Fremstad said many of the injured were Kurds, but added it was not yet clear whether the attack had targeted Kurds specifically.

Between 40 and 50 men broke into the Nordbybraaten center, about 60 kilometers south of Oslo, and started attacking its residents, center director Ole Morten Lyng said.

"We've got everything from shock to broken legs, crushed cheekbones, arm and head injuries, but nothing life threatening," Fremstad said.

Investigators said it was too early to speculate on a motive, but added that there had been a "conflict between ethnic groups" at the asylum center on Wednesday.

"That may have triggered reactions that could have led to what happened last night," police said in a statement, adding that more investigation was needed.

The facility houses some 200 people from Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, Somalia and Eritrea.