Thousands protest for and against refugees in Chemnitz

Syrian shopkeeper Eemad Alkholdy talks with journalists from the Associated Press in Chemnitz Germany

Syrian shopkeeper Eemad Alkholdy talks with journalists from the Associated Press in Chemnitz Germany

Police did not want to give details of the statements as they are looking for further witnesses.

Several groups held rallies in the eastern city of Chemnitz over the August 26 killing there of a German citizen, allegedly by migrants from Syria and Iraq.

Some protesters paraded with large portraits of victims of attacks perpetrated, they claimed, by asylum seekers, while others brandished banners reading "Chemnitz is neither grey nor brown" and "The heart rather than hate".

Thousands of both opponents and supporters of Germany's liberal immigration policies marched through the eastern city of Chemnitz, where the fatal stabbing of a German man, allegedly by two migrants, has sparked protests and street violence.

A total of 1,800 police officers were deployed in the city to keep the groups apart. Some far-right supporters argued before the killing in Chemnitz that migrants are responsible for an increase in serious crimes, especially attacks on women.

People in Chemnitz, Germany, demonstrate their support for asylum seekers and opposition to far-right sentiment, holding signs that read "No place for Nazis" and "Racism is no alternative", on September 1, 2018.

Three years on, scenes of far-right protesters chasing down foreigners have shocked the world.

German Justice Minister Katarina Barley said Saturday that authorities should investigate the role of networks from the radical far right in spearheading the week's protests.

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"We will not let right-wing extremists destroy our country and our democracy". "It's about finding out who's behind the mobilization of far-right criminals".

Sunday and Monday evenings saw outbreaks of violence triggered by the arrest of two suspects allegedly involved in the stabbing of Daniel Hillig, a 35-year-old German-Cuban. Several clashes between right-wing, anti-migrant groups and left-wing counterprotesters have resulted in the injury of several people.

"We need a strong state and we have to do everything politically to overcome the polarization and division of our society", Seehofer stressed.

Heavy reinforcements from across Germany were brought in after police admitted to being caught off-guard and shorthanded as last week's protests in Chemnitz turned violent, triggered by an August 27 deadly knife attack on a German man allegedly by an Iraqi and Syrian.

A large-scale "silent march" took place yesterday in protest against Chancellor Merkel's policies.

Leaders of Germany's Alternative for Germany party and of populist group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West wore dark suits and held white roses as they began what they called a "mourning march" Saturday night.

The demonstration was organised in a reaction to a knife killing, allegedly by an Iraqi and a Syrian, that set off anti-immigrant mob violence.

Thousands of far-right protesters have started marching through a city in eastern Germany where a German man was killed nearly a week ago and two migrants face charges in the slaying.

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