Protesters face off in German city

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Protesters face off in tense German city

Rival protests over a murder in the east German city of Chemnitz have ended with several people injured as objects were hurled by both sides.

Far-right activists had gathered in the centre for a second day as a Syrian and an Iraqi remained under arrest on suspicion of Sunday’s deadly stabbing.

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

Throwing objects
Police said ”injuries were caused when protesters on both sides threw objects.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel had warned that “vigilante justice” would not be tolerated.

Police warned masked demonstrators who were picking up stones in the city, about bmiles south of Berlin, that their actions were being filmed.

Earlier, authorities said police were investigating alleged assaults on an Afghan, a Syrian and a Bulgarian during the unrest that broke out on Sunday.

Reports have included mentions of protesters chasing foreigners, though there are few details.

Chemnitz police said; “We did not anticipate such a total of participants on Sunday”.

Bigger crowds thronged the city centre on Monday with an estimated far-right turn out of 5,000, with some 1,000 leftists opposed to them.

Sunday incidence
It is unclear what triggered a fight which reportedly preceded the stabbing, at about 01:15 GMT on Sunday, on the side lines of a street festival.

The far-right demonstration in the city centre on Sunday caused the festival to be cancelled abruptly.

The stab victim, a carpenter aged 35, was critically wounded and died in hospital. He has been named as Daniel H, who had a German mother and a Cuban father.

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

A half-Cuban woman who grew up with Daniel H, Nancy Larssen, told Deutsche Welle news that media misreporting had helped fuel the “horrible” far-right protest.

“It’s sad that in the media they’re just saying that a German has died, and that’s why all the neo-Nazis and hooligans are out, but the media should describe who died, and what skin colour he had, because I don’t think they’d be doing all this if they knew,” she said.

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.

 

Nneka Ukachukwu