Violence rocks German city as neo-Nazis and counter-protesters fight

Germany

Germany

The fatal altercation which sparked the protests took place in the early hours of Sunday outside a street festival. Police have yet to comment on the nationalities of those involved, citing the fact that the investigation is still at a nascent stage. Two suspects were arrested.

Police have denied rumours on social media that the fight was linked to the sexual harassment of a woman.

Police admitted that they had underestimated the scale of the...

Videos posted on social media appeared to show far-right protesters threatening and chasing passers-by during Sunday's demonstration.

Following the demonstrations, Merkel spokesman Steffan Seibert said: 'We don't tolerate such unlawful assemblies and the hounding of people who look different or have different origins and attempts to spread hatred on the streets.

Seibert also criticized a far-right lawmaker who had suggested that German authorities were unable to protect citizens.

In the federal state of Saxony - where Chemnitz is located - the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party now ranks second in the polls, with Merkel's governing Christian Conservative Union (CDU) only five percentage points ahead.

Kaotic Chemnitz - banned from the local club's stadium - said it wanted to "show who is in charge in the city!"

The rioters ignored police instructions and confronted passersby of foreign appearance.

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Police in Chemnitz are preparing for further demonstrations.

Anti-Nazi activists rallied just metres away, accusing the far right of using the death for political ends.

The anti-Islam PEGIDA movement's regional chapter, urging people online to come to Monday's rally, told them to "muster strength from anger and sadness!"

As the heap of wreaths and candles at the spot where the murder occurred grew larger on Monday evening, right-wing demonstrators massed at the Marx monument, and counter-demonstrators gathered close by.

Left-wing counterprotesters demanded "Nazis out!" "Simple as that!" tweeted Markus Frohnmaier, a member of the German parliament for the AfD.

"Today it's a citizen's duty to stop the lethal "knife migration"!" he wrote, alluding to the influx of migrants in recent years. "It could have targeted your father, son or brother!"

Chemnitz Mayor Barbara Ludwig, on the other hand, called the protesters' behavior horrifying.

"The fact that people can agree to meet. run through town and threaten people is bad", she told broadcaster MDR.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose fragile coalition government almost came apart last month over the issue of asylum-seekers, responded to the violence as well as video posted to social media that showed some protesters who appeared to target individuals due to their ethnicity.

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