Three people were injured Friday when clashes erupted between far-right demonstrators and pro-refugee protesters in the eastern German city of Dresden, where hundreds of asylum seekers are due to be given shelter.
Some 200 members of the far-right NPD had gathered in protest against the arrival this weekend of 800 refugees, the majority from Syria, German news agency DPA reported.
But they were faced down by 350 activists marching in support of the asylum seekers.
Firecrackers and projectiles were flung, leaving three people injured, including a young woman who was bleeding profusely, DPA said.
According to the news website of Saechsische Zeitung, the television crew of public broadcaster ZDF was also caught up in the violence.
One person has been detained, the newspaper said.
With 500 of the 800 asylum seekers to be hosted by Dresden due to arrive from Friday night, the German Red Cross has readied a tent city.
Underlining the hostility against the asylum seekers, several of the aid agency’s members were set upon by those who wanted to stop them from pitching the tents.
Thanks to its healthy economy, Germany is Europe’s top destination for those fleeing war, poverty and persecution.
But the jump in the number of asylum seekers — expected to top a record 450,000 in 2015 — has also been coupled with a rise in racist sentiment.
In the last few months, attacks including arson against refugee homes or would-be shelters have multiplied.
Since the beginning of the year, 202 attacks have been recorded in the country — almost the same number as for the whole of 2014, the Interior Ministry said Thursday.
Dresden in particular has seen the rise of the anti-Islam PEGIDA movement, with demonstrations peaking at 25,000 in the beginning of the year.
[GERMANY] Three injured in Dresden anti-immigrant demonstration