HAMBURG  - Violent street clashes pitting hundreds of Kurds and Yazidis against radical Muslims in Germany left at least 23 people wounded overnight in two northern cities, police said Wednesday.

In the port city of Hamburg about 400 Kurds rallied Tuesday against Islamic State (IS), whose fighters are besieging the Kurdish town of Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border. After the demonstrators gathered outside a Hamburg inner-city mosque, they were confronted by some 400 people described by police as mostly Salafist Muslims, and tensions escalated into violent clashes.

Riot police used batons, pepper spray and water cannon to separate the mostly young men who were armed with metal rods, sticks and machetes and hurled rocks and bottles, police and local media said.

The violence in Hamburg left 14 people wounded, four of them seriously, while 22 people were temporarily detained in the clashes that raged on into the early hours. They were later released.  Tensions between hundreds of ‘highly emotional’ Yazidi Kurds and mostly Chechen Muslim immigrants also escalated in the city of Celle in the northern state of Lower Saxony, local police said.

Riot police intervened against men armed with sticks, rocks and bottles, leaving four police and five protesters wounded in clashes which came a day after both groups had brawled elsewhere in the city. IS fighters have launched brutal attacks against Iraqi Yazidis, a non-Arab and non-Muslim minority, and besieged Syria’s third biggest Kurdish town Kobane, also called Ain al-Arab, on the Turkish border.