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Germany bans neo-Nazi group 'Sturm 18'

The interior minister of the German state of Hesse has banned the neo-Nazi group "Sturm 18." A search conducted on some members revealed far-right associated computer files and weapons.

The far-right

neo-Nazi group

"Sturm 18" (Storm 18) has been banned for violations "against the constitutional order," explained the Hessian Interior Minister Peter Beuth on Thursday.

"We do not give any room to right-wing extremism," he said. "This is especially so when they come together and organize to threaten the values of our free and democratic society."

The decision to ban the group is based on an investigation conducted by Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and Hessian police.

The investigation found that current and former members of the Kassel-based "Strum 18" had committed some 300 crimes. A mid-August raid on eight club members secured computers and cell phones, which held evidence of Nazi, anti-Semitic and anti-foreigner files as well as illegal clothing, flags, pictures, symbols and music, Beuth said.

The search also found a telescopic-baton, an airgun, a blank firing gun, a rifle, a dud-grenade and a small amount of narcotics.

Germany has witnessed a

rise of right-wing sentiment

as the country faces a flood of refugees from the Middle East.

cw/jil (AFP, dpa)

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