Right-wingers battle with police in Rostock

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The Independent Online
ROSTOCK - For a fourth night running large crowds of extreme right-wing youths clashed viciously with police in this east German port city. Burning cars were turned over in the streets as petrol bombs and paving stones were hurled at the police, writes John Eisenhammer.

Thousands had poured into the suburb of Lichtenhagen last night in the expectation of another round of violence outside the now burnt-out refugee hostel which had been the original focus for the xenophobic attacks. The refugees had long been evacuated. The crowds came expecting the pure sport of the street battle - thugs against authority.

Chanting 'foreigners out', the crowds gathered in the streets already heavy with the smell of burning rubber. The police had brought in massive reserves, including crack riot troops from the west. Warning the crowds over loudspeakers that unless they moved back they would 'fall into the domain of police measures' the green phalanxes advanced. It was the German nightmare live on the streets. The riots, described as the country's worst mass attack on foreigners since the Second World War, were condemned by Chancellor Helmut Kohl as 'a disgrace for Germany'.

Fires of racism, page 8

Leading article, page 28

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