Germany extends neo-Nazi ban

BONN (Reuter, AP) - Germany banned the fourth neo-Nazi group in less than four weeks yesterday as it maintained its crackdown on violence against foreigners and Jewish targets.

The Interior Minister, Rudolf Seiters, imposed a ban on a two- year-old group called 'National Offensive' (NO), whose some 140 members preach hatred of foreigners, Jews and Israel. 'The NO agitates against the free and democratic order, against foreigners, and takes part in anti-Semitic agitation aimed at Jewish fellow citizens as well as Israel,' an Interior Ministry statement said. 'The NO advocates its neo-Nazi world view in an agressive and combative way,' it added.

Nearly 100,000 Germans lined the streets of Frankfurt in a candlelight protest against extreme right-wingers, organisers said. The show of solidarity with foreigners was co-sponsored by Frankfurt businesses, political and church groups. It follows a similar demonstration by 50,000 people on Monday in Leipzig.

Mr Seiters said a month-old government campaign against neo-Nazi militants was discouraging violence against foreigners and attacks on Jewish memorials. As the ban was being announced, Mr Seiters said police were seizing NO property, securing evidence of its neo-Nazi nature and searching the homes of members.

The NO was founded in July 1990 in Augsburg and was concentrated in Bavaria and neighbouring eastern Saxony.

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