Almost 200 North African emigrants were arrested in Brussels over the weekend during the worst racial rioting ever seen in the normally placid Belgian capital.

During two nights of riots and pitched battles, gangs of youths smashed windows, threw firebombs and set cars on fire. Police charged them with nightsticks.Immigrant community leaders blamed police for the trouble, saying they had been harassing young North Africans. The police said they were simply upholding the law and suggested the riots had been orchestrated.