An 11-week standoff over Mohawk tribal lands and sovereignty ended in a brawl as warriors laid down their weapons and left a detoxification center but resisted when soldiers tried to arrest them.
About 400 Mohawks who live on a nearby reservation watched Wednesday night's clash on television, grabbed baseball bats, lead pipes and rocks and attacked troops guarding a bridge that links their community with Montreal.A soldier suffered facial injuries in Mercier Bridge incident, which ended after soldiers trained rifles on the protesters, threatening to shoot.
Only minor injuries were reported in the earlier brawl at Oka, which began after some of the more than 50 militants who had been holed up for a month at the drug and alcohol treatment center tried to push past troops.
The warriors at the Indian settlement 18 miles west of Montreal had agreed to end the standoff peacefully but after leaving the center many tried to evade soldiers and pass through barbed-wire barricades.
Brawls broke out when soldiers - some with fixed bayonets - seized warriors and women and children accompanying them. Some Mohawks had small children in their arms and were knocked to the ground, witnesses said.
Police arrested six Mohawks outside army lines on unspecified charges and a seventh for obstructing officers. Three warriors were arrested and placed in provincial police custody.
At least 50 Mohawks were in army custody late Wednesday and some could face charges later in connection with a prolonged power struggle that amounted to a series of sporadic clashes.
The standoff began July 11 when police tried to storm an Indian barricade outside Oka and a Quebec provincial police officer was killed. Blame has not been fixed in the officer's death.
The barricade, put up by Indians opposed to the planned extension of a golf course onto what they say is tribal land, was dismantled by troops last month. That's when the warriors retreated to the treatment center.
Dozens of Indians, troops and police have been injured in the dispute, which has gripped the Canadian nation with its questions of how far the government should go in guaranteeing native rights and sovereignty.
No arrests were reported at the Mercier Bridge, which Indians had blockaded for most of the summer in support of their Oka brethren.
Maj. Alain Tremblay said it was possible a few of the Oka warriors had escaped into the woods surrounding the treatment center.