Home | Breaking News | Far-right march in eastern Germany raises fears of Chemnitz-style unrest
Police officers watch on during a far-right protest in Koethen, south-west of Berlin. Photograph: EPA

Far-right march in eastern Germany raises fears of Chemnitz-style unrest

WT24 Desk

Around 2,500 people have marched in a far-right demonstration in eastern Germany after a man died following a fight with two Afghans, raising concerns of recent unrest in Chemnitz, report Agencies.

Police and prosecutors said the 22-year-old victim had suffered acute heart failure after coming to blows with the Afghan suspects during a dispute on a playground in the town of Koethen late on Saturday.

The German man’s death was “not directly” linked to the injuries suffered in the brawl, they said in a statement, and media reports said he had a pre-existing heart condition.

Prosecutors said one of the Afghan suspects, aged 18, stands accused of causing grievous bodily harm. The other, aged 20, faces charges of causing bodily harm with fatal consequences.

The incident was expected to inflame anti-migrant tensions, coming just two weeks after the fatal stabbing of a 35-year-old German man in the city of Chemnitz, allegedly by two asylum seekers.

“With emotions running high, we have to resist any attempt to turn Koethen into a second Chemnitz,” the state premier of Saxony-Anhalt, Reiner Haseloff, said.

Chemnitz, also located in Germany’s former Communist east, has been rocked by a series of far-right demonstrations that saw participants assault foreign-looking people and shout anti-immigration slurs while some flashed the illegal Nazi salute.

Immediately after news of the latest incident broke, rightwing groups called on social media for a “mourning march” in Koethen from 7pm (1700 GMT) on Sunday.

Police estimated the turnout at some 2,500 people, and reported no major disturbances. Many of the demonstrators waved the German flag and shouted “Resistance! Resistance!”.

A counter-demo by far-left protesters at Koethen’s rail station drew 200 people, according to police.

The town’s mayor, Bernd Hauschild, urged locals in a Facebook message to shun the rightwing demo because he had “information that people prepared to use violence were planning to travel to Koethen in large numbers”.

Bild newspaper said around 100 federal police officers had been sent to Koethen to help keep the peace, after police were criticised for underestimating the scale of the Chemnitz demostrations.

According to local media the latest incident started when three Afghan men were arguing with a pregnant woman over who was the father of her unborn child.

Two German men then approached the group and the row escalated into a brawl. The third Afghan was not arrested as he was not believed to have been involved in the fighting.

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