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German counterterrorism unit arrests far-right terror suspects

An elite German police unit has arrested five people in the Saxony town of Freital on suspicion of attacking refugee shelters, media report. Last year, the town became known for weeks of xenophobic protests.

Police officers from Germany's elite GSG 9 counterterrorism unit arrested the five people in an operation in the eastern town of Freital in the early hours of Tuesday morning, according "Spiegel Onilne."

Watch video 02:30

Arrests in Freital - Talk with Ralf Melzer, expert on right-wing extremism

The website reported the arrests of four men and one woman aged 18-39. They were detained on suspicion of forming a far-right terrorist group, causing grievous bodily harm and attempted murder.

The arrests come in the wake of a number of attacks on shelters for refugees. Among other things, the group is suspected of

attacking asylum-seeker homes in Freital

with stones and fireworks, and of carrying out

an explosives attack on the car of a Freital alderman.

Store of fireworks

Freital Anschlag Asylunterkunft

Explosives have been used in attacks on refugee homes

"Spiegel Online" reported that officers found a large number of fireworks from Eastern Europe during their raids.

Federal prosecutors have been investigating the members of the

far-right group

for some time. Since November, police have found explosives and Nazi memorabilia during raids on several apartments in Freital and in Dresden.

Two men who are alleged to be the leaders of the group have been in remand for some time.

The town, which is near the Saxony state capital of Dresden, hit the headlines last summer during weeks of xenophobic protests in front of a refugee home in a former hotel.

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