a statement, a spokesman for the YMCA said that the meeting invovled an “Ethiopian diaspora group” who were meeting with officials from the Ethiopian Embassy.
The meeting was arranged with the support of the Somali community in Newport.
He added a group of Ethiopians who oppose the present Ethiopian government arrived at the event and a dispute broke out which rapidly deteriorated into a physical confrontation.
The statement continues: “The Newport YMCA staff on site at the time called the police and ambulance service who attended as the dispute spilled out into the street.
“Newport YMCA is grateful to the police for their prompt and skilful support when this completely unpredictable event happened.
“There was no damage to property and none of the staff was hurt, though they were quite shocked by the physical confrontation. A children’s party in another part of the centre was able to carry on without any disruption.”
Peter Landers, Chief Executive of Newport YMCA added: “It is very sad that this event ended in violence. The YMCA is committed to providing opportunities for people to meet and exchange ideas. We are grateful to the duty staff and the emergency services who ensured that a difficult situation was brought under control very quickly.”
One man has been arrested on suspicion of affray and another was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure after the “altercation” at Newport’s YMCA yesterday.
A spokesman from Gwent Police said officers received several calls “concerning up to 40 men fighting in the street”.
He said the incident was due to a “disturbance at a meeting involving the Ethiopian community which had erupted in to fighting”.
He said: “A large number of Police officers were deployed to the YMCA Centre, Mendalgief Road, Newport at 3pm (yesterday).
“On arrival most persons had dispersed and enquiries at the scene confirmed that there had been a disturbance at a meeting involving the Ethiopian community which had erupted in to fighting.
“One male has been arrested on suspicion of affray and another male taken to hospital as a precautionary measure. Investigations are ongoing in to the incident and Police will remain in the area throughout the afternoon and evening as a precautionary measure.”
Welsh Ambulance Service confirm they sent one ambulance crew to the scene.
One patient has been taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital.
ARMED police officers attended an “altercation” at Newport’s YMCA building earlier today.
The incident in Mendalgief Rd, involved a man attempting to “disrupt” a meeting at the YMCA, police said.
After receiving reports of a “large” disruption, armed officers attended the scene and one man was arrested and detained.
A Gwent Police spokesman has confirmed that the incident was a “minor alteraction”.