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Four arrested as pro-Palestine protest turns violent outside Bradford kebab shop

Salah's takeaway, Leeds Road, Bradford
Salah's takeaway was accused of selling Coca-Cola under the counter - Asadour Guzelian/Guzelian

A brawl erupted outside a kebab shop after pro-Palestinian protesters stormed the restaurant and allegedly demanded the owner boycott Coca-Cola.

Footage of the confrontation, at Salah’s takeaway on Leeds Road in Bradford on Friday evening, shows a large group of demonstrators draped in Palestinian flags shouting outside the restaurant.

Police said four men had been arrested.

Video footage posted on social media showed how the situation appeared to escalate after a man inside the takeaway came outside to confront the crowd.

Fighting erupts as members of the group try to hit the man with sticks and the wooden ends of their protest flags.

He also appears to lash out at the protesters with a pole.

People in the background can be heard shouting: “Guys, guys calm down.”

Smashing the windows outside

Other footage appears to show the group shouting expletives and smashing the windows from outside the takeaway.

A friend of Salahudin Yusuf, the owner of the restaurant, said there were around 40 to 50 people outside the takeaway protesting against the sale of Coca-Cola.

The man, who gave his name as Mirban, told the Halal food news website Feed the Lion that the protesters “were threatening them to stop selling certain products”, including the fizzy drink.

He said: “[Mr Yusuf] was defending his business. They’ve approached his business and carried out an assault outside the shop. The owner was hurt and suffered stitches to his lip.”

He added: “We are for the Palestinian cause. Any attacks on innocent people we condemn. But we’re purely a business. For these individuals and groups to start attacking these businesses is out of order and it’s not from Islam.”

He said the outlet no longer sold the drink but the protesters accused them of selling it under the counter.

Friends of Al-Aqsa, a UK-based NGO, said: “Coca-Cola operates on stolen Palestinian land and is therefore directly profiting from Israel’s illegal occupation and apartheid in Palestine.”

The group has previously called for a National Day of Action boycotting restaurants and cafes that sell the soft drink.

Criminal damage and assault

There is no suggestion that the group were involved in the violent altercation in Bradford.

Four men aged 30, 34, 46 and 50 had been arrested on suspicion of offences including criminal damage and assault, West Yorkshire Police said. All the suspects were released on bail pending further enquiries.

The force added: “Police were called to a disturbance at Salah’s takeaway, in Leeds Road, Bradford, with reports of damage being caused to a window and people assaulted.

“Officers established that the incident appeared to arise from a pro-Palestine protest involving a group outside the premises.

“There were no serious injuries caused,” they added.