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Far-right radicals try to storm east German police station

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Far-right radicals try to storm east German police station
A far-right demonstration in Magdeburg in April. File Photo: DPA
10:51 CEST+02:00
A group of nearly a dozen people from the far-right scene in Magdeburg attempted to storm a police station on Saturday to free a companion who had been arrested earlier in the day.

Nine men and two women turned up at the the police station in Magdeburg train station and tried to force their way into the premises, threatening that 50 more of their associates were on their way to back them up.

The assault was an attempt to a free a 32-year-old man who had been arrested in the vicinity of the station after he had struck a bystander over the head. As police attempted to arrest the man, his companions tried to prevent them from doing so, authorities in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt reported on Sunday.

The 11 demonstrators - aged between 15 and 33 - then attempted to break into the station to force his release.

Police were able to arrest all those involved and bring them into custody. They are now investigating charges of bodily harm and resisting arrest against the 32-year-old. The others all face charges of attempting to free a prisoner.

A government report released in September warned that right-wing extremism is a risk to stability and peace in east Germany.

The five states which make up the former communist East Germany have been plagued by radicalism ever since reunification over a quarter century ago. The neo-Nazi NSU terror cell, which murdered ten people between 2000 and 2007, originated in eastern Germany.

But the influx of almost 900,000 asylum seekers to Germany last year has seen xenophobic and far-right crime skyrocket and has led to a surge in support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

In state elections in Saxony-Anhalt, in March the AfD won their biggest poll success to date, gaining 24 percent of the vote.

Last week police in Saxony-Anhalt reported that two armed men attacked the home of an African immigrant, leaving his 5-year-old son hospitalized.

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