December 12, 2015 / 5:13 PM / 2 years ago

German police use water cannon to disperse protesters opposed to neo-Nazi march

BERLIN (Reuters) - German police fired water cannon to disperse stone-throwing leftist protesters who tried to block a march by neo-Nazi activists in Leipzig on Saturday.

About 1,000 anti-fascist protesters set fire to rubbish bins and wooden barricades to prevent 200 supporters of small neo-Nazi groups from marching in the city, Saechsiche Zeitung newspaper reported.

Police said several people were hurt in the violence and the situation remains tense. They did not say whether those injured were civilians or policemen.

Officers trying to keep the demonstrators apart came under attack from the larger leftist crowd, police said.

Leipzig and Dresden, another eastern city, have witnessed several demonstrations by anti-immigrant groups to protest Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door asylum policy. Such protests were often met with counter demonstrations.

Police did not say if the neo-Nazi march was to protest the government’s asylum policy.

More than one million asylum seekers are expected to arrive in Germany this year.

Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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