Simmering racial tensions in Virginia Beach -- a city still recovering from last year's Labor Day violence -- have erupted in eight attacks in the past two months by black and white gangs, according to police.

Seven of the attacks have involved black youths beating whites and one involved a white gang attacking a group of blacks, city officials and police said yesterday.

"It's not simply a case of someone coming out of a bar and getting into a brawl," said City Manager Aubrey V. Watts. "Clearly someone has singled out someone of another race. That's deplorable and I want it stopped."

The latest incident occurred June 15 when a group of young blacks attacked two white sailors with a sharp object, said Lewis B. Thurston, a spokesman for Virginia Beach police.

One sailor was cut on the face and the other on the arm. An 18-year-old man was charged with malicious assault in that incident. Police say they have made arrests in all eight attacks that have occurred since May 1, when they began tracking the incidents.

Police say all of the beatings have occurred in the oceanfront resort strip of Virginia Beach. In each case, up to 15 youths wait near the boardwalk for a smaller group of another race to pass. The smaller group is taunted, words are exchanged and a beating follows.

None of the victims has been seriously injured, police say. Only one of the attacks involved a weapon.

Virginia Beach became the focus of national attention last September when an annual college Greekfest gathering of 100,000 young blacks exploded into three days of racial violence.

The city, unsure of how to handle the crowd, according to reports, responded by calling in National Guard troops. Tensions rose and by the conclusion of the weekend, dozens of police officers and civilians were injured and 100 stores were looted.

In the aftermath, many residents and black leaders blamed the city's hostile response to the gathering for the outbreak. Since then the city has increased its efforts to reach out to the black community and avoid other confrontations.

"I don't know whether with everything that's been happening in Virginia Beach, the numbers {of attacks} are unique to other years, but we are sensitive to any incident that carries a racial overtone," Watts said.

On Friday, the local chapter of the NAACP condemned the attacks and called for talks in black neighborhoods to soothe the tensions.

"The growing incidence of youth gang violence involving young African-American males is unacceptable," the NAACP said in a statement.

Watts has asked the police chief to request help from federal law enforcement agencies to prosecute the attackers for civil rights violations.