Police resources in Melbourne and Sydney have been stretched while trying to contain bloodthirsty inner-city brawls.
Part of Melbourne’s CBD was shut down last night when police struggled to contain a violent street fight between two rival gangs.
Terrified revellers at the annual Moomba festival were forced to take cover as the confrontation erupted between armed groups Apex and Islander 23.
Police were forced to use capsicum spray and batons to subdue the brawlers.
The fight erupted in Federation Square, where families had gathered to watch the annual fireworks, about 10pm on Saturday.
The melee reportedly involved up to 200 members of the street gangs, who had started clashing in the city from about 7.50pm.
It’s understood many innocent bystanders were caught up in the drama, with some being hit with capsicum spray.
Police were aware on Saturday afternoon that the gangs planned to meet in the city.
The fight was reportedly organised over video messaging app snapchat.
Video: Violence erupts at Moomba festival.
The melee lasted for two hours.
Onlookers ran for safety and at one stage chairs were used as weapons by the brawlers.
Swanston Street was shut down and trams were stopped for about an hour.
Ambulance Victoria said it treated a number of people after the brawl.
Police say they have made several arrests over the fight.
Brawl rolls through the streets of Sydney
Meanwhile, news.com reports that a bloodthirsty mob chased a rolling brawl through the streets of Sydney.
Police from Sydney City Local Command were called to The Metro Theatre about 3am this morning.
A witness said three men were brought under control by police officers without a struggle, but it was the beginning of a fight that lasted almost an hour and was spread across multiple streets.
A shirtless man was tackled and pinned to the sidewalk by five police officers as he struggled and could be heard yelling “take me on one-on-one you f***ing dogs”.
A woman’s head hit the pavement after she was thrown to the ground by another woman.
Witness Eugene Byrnes said one of the women was screaming to police “she’s trying to kill me!”
The women shoved each other and screamed “f *** the police, f*** them dogs” as officers handcuffed one and pinned her against the side of a police car.