Dozens injured in 'senseless' far-left protest in Germany
BERLIN, Germany - German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser on Sunday called out "senseless violence" by far-left protestors after clashes with police in the eastern city of Leipzig left dozens injured.
Protestors set up roadblocks, started fires and threw projectiles at security forces over the weekend in protest at the jailing of four far-left activists.
Around 50 officers were injured in the course of the protests, which began on Friday evening, with three left "unable to serve", Leipzig police said in a statement.
Almost 30 people had so far been arrested, police said, while "up to 50" people were put in preventative detention before being released again.
"The senseless violence of far-left anarchists and rioters is unjustifiable," Faeser said in a statement.
"Those who throw stones, bottles and firebombs at police must be held accountable for it," Faeser said.
Hundreds of people participated in the protests after far-left activists had called for a day of action in Leipzig on Saturday.
The unrest comes after a court in nearby Dresden on Wednesday sentenced a student from Leipzig - known as Lina E. - and three other far-left activists to several years in prison.
The group were found guilty of violent attacks on neo Nazis and alleged far-right supporters between 2018 and 2020.
Since her arrest in 2020, Lina E. has become a symbol for activists, with the slogan "Free Lina" appearing regularly at left-wing rallies, according to German media.
The number of participants in the Leipzig protests could not currently be calculated, police said.
Authorities' initial estimate that 1,500 people had joined a gathering at a city square on Saturday was off the mark and the number of actual participants was probably "significantly more", they said.
A further protest planned for Sunday had also been banned, police said. - AFP