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OLDHAM, U.K., May 26, 2001: Community leaders have appealed for calm after hundreds of Asian youths clashed with police during a night of rioting in Oldham. At least 20 officers were injured and 17 people arrested after weeks of racial tension between white and Asian youths erupted into violence. Greater Manchester Police described the running battles as "sheer carnage." The riots are understood to have begun after a gang of white youths attacked Asian homes in the Glodwick area of the town earlier on Saturday evening. Youth worker Ashid Ali, chairman of the Oldham Bangladeshi Youth Association, said far-right organizations had been trying to provoke violence for weeks. "Unfortunately the whole of the UK will look at this as being a riot between the police and Asian youths, when it was clearly sparked by white youths." Asian youths have blamed police for failing to react to attacks from white racists on their communities over recent weeks. Daoob Akram, who has lived in Glodwick for 35 years, said that "the police and the local authorities need to make sure they protect the Asian community." The report does not specify what is meant by "Asian," which in the UK lumps together both Hindus and Muslims from India. In this case, the only named "Asians" were Muslims. In an earlier racial incident in another city, Muslim and poor white youth were involved in altercations with better-off white and Hindu youth.