The usually festive summer watermelon season has taken on a violent turn in Russia's Far East after heavy fighting between market vendors and customers over unripe watermelons resulted in the firing of gunshots.
The spat erupted on Thursday afternoon when vendors at the Mnogoryadov Market in Khabarovsk refused to refund their customers for reportedly having sold them immature watermelons, а statement published Friday on the regional Interior Ministry branch website said.
Unwilling to settle for a green watermelon, the dispute then took on a violent turn as friends joined in and a mass brawl erupted, ending with someone firing two shots from an OSA non-lethal gun, the statement said.
Three people with light injuries were in need of medical care, and those involved in the brawl were taken to the local police headquarters, the report said.
If found guilty of hooliganism, the rioters can face up to five years in prison.