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Merkel to visit Chemnitz after murder, growing unrest

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Merkel to visit Chemnitz after murder, growing unrest
The right-wing group Pro Chemnitz gathered in the city on Thursday. Photo: DPA
08:58 CEST+02:00
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit the eastern city Chemnitz, scene in recent weeks of racist outbursts, following the stabbing of a German allegedly by refugees.

The veteran leader had "gladly accepted" an invitation from Chemnitz mayor Barbara Ludwig when the two spoke by phone, a spokesperson for city hall told AFP.

Merkel will most likely lead a citizens' dialogue on immigration in October, reported Spiegel Online on Wednesday.

The Saxon city of around 240,000 people has seen a few federal politicians show their faces since a 35-year-old local man was stabbed to death, allegedly by asylum seekers, followed by a surge of violent right-wing protests.

Last Friday, Families Minister Franziska Giffey visited the city both to visit the memorial site of the victim and speak out against the unrest. She has called for a law to improve education on democracy among younger people.

SEE ALSO: Families Minister Franziska Giffey becomes first government official to visit site of Chemnitz stabbing

A third suspect

Two suspects, an Iraqi and a Syrian, are in police custody following the killing, while a city court on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for a third man, another Iraqi.

Far-right groups and thousands of local citizens took to the streets in the days after the stabbing, with a number of participants attacking people who looked foreign, and showing the illegal Nazi salute.

The Chemnitz knife attack is the latest in a series of violent crimes by
refugees that have garnered massive media attention across the world and stoked anger at Merkel's decision not to close Germany's borders to more than one million migrants and refugees who arrived since 2015.

Such spotlighted cases helped propel far-right anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) into parliament last year and made it a leading political force in formerly communist eastern states like Saxony.

The announcement of Merkel's visit came one day after 65,000 people turned out at a rock concert in Chemnitz against racism that went off without incident.

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