Dozens injured in German protest clashes

German police use water guns against left-wing counter-protesters at a rally of the party 'Die Rechte' (The Right) in Leipzig, Germany.
German police use water guns against left-wing counter-protesters at a rally of the party 'Die Rechte' (The Right) in Leipzig, Germany. PHOTO: EPA

BERLIN (AFP) - More than 50 police officers and several demonstrators were injured in clashes in the eastern German city of Leipzig on Saturday (Dec 12) as far-left protesters rallied against a neo-Nazi rally, police said.

In all, 56 police and several demonstrators were hurt, a police spokeswoman said, without giving details of the injuries. About 30 police vehicles were also damaged, she added.

Security forces also made more than two dozen arrests, according to the spokeswoman.

The clashes erupted on the sidelines of a protest, attended by about 1,000 people, held against a neo-Nazi rally, which was attended by about 150 people.

The protesters from the larger rally clashed with police in several areas of Leipzig, throwing stones, setting off firecrackers, and blocking roads by burning trash. They also attacked firefighters.

Police responded by firing water cannon and tear gas.