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German far-right trying to stir up 'conditions of civil war'

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Riot police watch right-wing supporters who had gathered the day after a man was stabbed and died of his injuries on August 27, 2018 in Chemnitz, Germany. Photo: Getty Images

Riot police watch right-wing supporters who had gathered the day after a man was stabbed and died of his injuries on August 27, 2018 in Chemnitz, Germany. Photo: Getty Images

Riot police watch right-wing supporters who had gathered the day after a man was stabbed and died of his injuries on August 27, 2018 in Chemnitz, Germany. Photo: Getty Images

Right-wing anti-immigration vigilante groups are creating "civil war-like conditions" in Germany, a minister warned yesterday, after a second day of violent protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz.

An estimated 5,000 far-right protesters clashed with around 1,000 counter protesters on Monday night, as a Syrian (23) and an Iraqi (22) remained under arrest on suspicion of stabbing a man to death during a fight early on Sunday morning.

"There is a small right-wing mob in our country that will take every opportunity to enact its violent fantasies of civil war-like conditions on our streets," said Burkhard Lischka, an opposition SPD politician in the interior ministry.

Several people were injured during the disturbances on Monday as protesters on both sides hurled objects at each other, police said.

They are investigating alleged assaults on a Syrian, an Afghan and a Bulgarian that reportedly occurred during the unrest. Several protesters on Monday were filmed making the Nazi salute, which is illegal in Germany.

The protests, organised by far-right groups including the Alternative for Germany party (AfD), which has seats in the German parliament, initially took off on Sunday afternoon, with videos emerging of rioters chasing and attacking people they believed to be migrants.

The unrest was sparked by a fight on Sunday between "a number of people of different nationalities", during which three men in their thirties were injured.

Unconfirmed rumours said the brawl may have kicked off after a woman was harassed in the street.

Police in Saxony, a stronghold for far-right sentiment, have been strongly criticised by German media for failing to control crowds quickly enough. Caught off-guard on Sunday, they were forced to call in backup from Leipzig and Dresden. On Monday night, water cannons were used to control crowds.

Horst Seehofer, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), which is in a governing coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, said yesterday "the police in Saxony are in a difficult situation". He added the federal government will support them if necessary.

Oliver Malchow, head of the German police union warned there could be more "vigilantes and self justice" in Germany in the future, as police are struggling to do their jobs due to staff shortages following cuts to public services. (© Daily Telegraph London)

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