German police clash with far right outside refugee center

Baku, August 23, AZERTAC

Clashes erupted in eastern Germany on Saturday between police and far-right activists protesting the opening of a new center for refugees, German news agency DPA said, a day after similar standoffs left dozens wounded.

Around 1,000 people had turned up in Heidenau, near Dresden, to demonstrate against the expected arrival of hundreds of refugees in a protest called by the far-right National Democratic Party.

Police intervened with tear gas after some 30 protesters blocked the road while hundreds gathered outside the building due to house the refugees.

"Stones, bottles and firecrackers were hurled at police," a police statement said, adding that 31 officers had been hurt, one of them seriously.

Though calm was restored by Saturday morning, clashes erupted later in the day when a group of around 150 far-right activists -- facing a similar number of people holding a counter-demonstration -- began hurling firecrackers and bottles.

At that point, police, who were using shields to protect themselves, began dispersing the demonstrators, according to DPA.

More than 300 refugees have already begun using the refugee center, constructed out of a former DIY superstore which has been refitted after lying empty for years.


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