Far-right and refugees in mass fight in east German town

DPA/The Local
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Far-right and refugees in mass fight in east German town
The street fights in Bautzen. Photo: DPA

In an eastern German town which has become synonymous with xenophobia, police broke up a fight between 80 locals and 20 refugees on Wednesday.


In the town of Bautzen in the former East German state of Saxony violence between locals and refugees has broken out again.

Police reported on Thursday that around 80 men and women associated with the far-right scene descended on a square in the town on Wednesday evening. In addition around 20 young male refugees also gathered there opposite them.

Witnesses report that the two groups exchanged insults and that physical fights broke out and glass bottles were thrown.

On the previous evening a 32-year-old from the town had already been injured when he was hit by a bottle in a small fight.

This is just the latest in repeated conflicts in the town between refugees and locals.

In February onlookers celebrated as a fire burned through a refugee home, while some people even tried to stop the fire services putting out the flames.

In March President Joachim Gauck was verbally assaulted by bystanders when he visited the town. He was on a visit to talk with locals about the refugee crisis.

On Wednesday around 100 police officers were deployed to keep the two groups apart, with officers calling on the two groups to leave the area.

Police report that bottles and pieces of wood were then thrown at them from the side of the refugees.

Officers then used pepper spray and truncheons against this group, who dispersed and fled over a bridge in the direction of their refugee home. But  as they fled they were pursued by groups from the far-right scene.

Police formed a guard around the home and instructed its residents not to leave. Officers were also deployed to guard a further three refugee homes in the vicinity.

An 18-year-old refugee suffered wounds serious enough during the fighting that he needed to be brought to hospital in an ambulance.

But the ambulance also came under attack from far-right group, who threw stones at it. The young man then had to be brought to hospital by a second ambulance.

Police say the operation ended at around 2.30 am. They are now investigating a case of breach of the peace.


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