Violent clashes break out in German neo-Nazi rally

DRESDEN: Clashes broke out in the German city of Dresden after thousands protested an authorized neo-Nazi rally, DPA news agency reported.

Officers used truncheons, tear gas and water cannons to keep anti-fascist protesters away from an area reserved for about 600 right-wing extremists who had been granted permission to gather in the eastern city. Leftist demonstrators threw paving stones, bottles and fireworks at the officers, damaging cars and breaking windows in an office building.

"The mood among the right-wing extremists is extremely aggressive and heated, because they can't march due to the blockades," Interior Ministry spokesman Frank Wend said.

Neo-Nazi groups then decided to move the rally to the city of Leipzig, where police waited for their arrival, according to the news agency.

Despite objections by city authorities, a Dresden court on Friday allowed the neo-Nazi rally, which commemorated the infamous 1945 allied bombing of Dresden. The city had expected up to 4,000 right-wing extremists and 20,000 opposing demonstrators.

Last weekend, around 17,000 residents of Dresden prevented 1,300 neo-Nazis from marching near the city centre


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