A massive fight broke out in Tooting Broadway last night between two rival gangs of armed yobs.

Shoppers ran for their lives as 30 youths aged 14-20 attacked each other with wood, iron bars and bottles in Sainsbury’s car park at around 6pm.

It began in Mitcham Road outside McDonald’s, where a group of what are believed to be Somali youths began taunting some Asians, according to one witness.

The teenagers, some of whom had their faces covered with headscarves, chased each other down an alleyway and into the car park, witnesses said.

Mark Shaw, 46, frontman of 80s band Then Jerico, was caught in the chaos while carrying his shopping to the car.

He said: “They picked up sticks and anything they could find. There were people screaming and shouting.

"It was like a war zone. We were absolutely terrified.

“It makes me feel angry and disgusted with the Government because this country is being over-run by little scumbags.”

Within minutes, three police cars arrived but the youths bolted and it is not yet known whether any were arrested.

Rob Sanson, manager of A Bar 2 Far, witnessed part of the fight but said it was no different to normal.

He said: “There’s always antisocial behaviour, throwing bottles, smoking weed, selling drugs and everything.

“We are trying to run a clean business but we are being sidetracked by them. They are putting off our customers.”

Several months ago McDonalds employed a security guard to stop troublesome teens congregating there, but locals say the gangs just moved onto the streets.

In April, Mr Shaw, who has lived in Graveney for ten years, was badly beaten up by a gang further down the same road.

Police were already conducting a stop and search operation at Tooting Broadway and officers were on the scene within minutes.

One youth sustained minor injuries, and officers are studying CCTV footage to identify suspects.

Inspector Dale Anderton from Tooting safer neighbourhoods team (SNT), said: “It was an isolated incident.

"It seems that a group of up to 20 people attended the area intent on exacting some sort of revenge for a minor assault on a youth earlier in the week.

“They then met up with another group of about 20 and a fight broke out.”

He added behaviour in the area had improved recently, but that officers were increasing their patrols to tackle the remaining problems.