Men 'attacked rival gang with swords'

Rival Emirati groups had a history of disputes, court hears

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Dubai // Four men attacked a rival gang with knives and swords, a court heard yesterday.

HH, 30, and SO, 23, both unemployed, MS, a 26-year-old soldier, and AA, 23, a student, all Emiratis, were charged with launching the attack at the house of a rival gang's leader in Al Twar 3 in Dubai, at dawn on September 23 last year.

According to prosecutors, the rival gang leader, AJ, called his friends for help on seeing them approach. Shortly afterwards, BS, 30, and BH and AR, both 25-year-old soldiers, also Emiratis, arrived.

All eight were charged with assault but all denied the charges.

BS and BH were accused of smashing three cars - a Honda Civic, a Toyota, and a Nissan Maxima - parked in front of AJ's house.

They allegedly broke the windows of the vehicles with rocks and hit them with swords and sticks.

AJ claimed that, hours before the attack, several men carrying swords had come to his house, but he locked the doors and ran to his room. He told prosecutors that the assailants broke his bedroom windows before leaving, but returned at dawn.

Prosecutors did not say what triggered the fight, but said that the two gangs had a long history of disputes.

AJ said his mother called the police when they started throwing rocks at his window that night, and they fled when they heard her talking to the police.

All of the men suffered injuries, according to a forensic report noting that some of them suffered cuts caused by a sharp object. None of the wounds were severe.

The defendants provided out-of-court settlement letters that led the assault counts to be dismissed. BS and BH, however, still face charges of intentionally damaging others' property at the Court of Misdemeanours. The next hearing was set for February 15.