About 2,000 people turned out in the eastern town of Altenburg Saturday to demonstrate against the anti-foreigner NPD, which was staging its own rally to defend its views. Several formed a blockade by sitting on the pavement to keep skinheads from joining the NPD rally which ultimately drew about 1,200 people.
Police officers trying to separate the two groups were attacked and pelted with stones. Twelve officers and 14 demonstrators were slightly injured in the scuffles, a police spokesman in the city of Gera said.
Twenty-four people were detained by police and released after questioning.
Federal police in the eastern city of Erfurt said it was not clear whether three arson attacks against rail lines in the region were linked to the NPD demonstration.
Train traffic between Gera and Altenburg was interrupted by the fires, leading 350 neo-Nazis to arrive late to the march, the daily Thüringer Allgemeine reported citing a spokesman for the federal police.