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Several people hurt at anti-refugee protest in Dresden

A demonstration by members of a German right-wing extremist party protesting against a tent camp for refugees in Dresden turned violent, with several people injured. But refugees have now begun to move in.

Demonstrators from the German right-wing extremist National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) who were protesting against a tent camp set up to house refugees in the eastern city of Dresden attacked counter-demonstrators on Friday evening, resulting in several injuries.

Protesters set off firecrackers and threw stones and bottles. The incident involved some 200 right-wing extremists and 350 people who gathered to oppose them.

A police spokesman told the AFP news agency that three people needed first-aid treatment and one protester was temporarily detained.

Despite the protests, the first refugees were able to move into the tent camp, which is to provide temporary housing for up to 800 people, according to authorities. The camp was set up on Friday by the German Red Cross, which is running the facility, and the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW).

Workers setting up tents. Photo: Arno Burgi/dpa

The tents are intended as a temporary measure

'Shocking attacks'

The Red Cross chairman for the state of Saxony, Rüdiger Unger, said Red Cross workers had been attacked by suspected anti-refugee protesters while putting up the tents.

Unger said he was "profoundly shocked" by the incidents, adding: "I have never before experienced Red Cross workers being attacked during operations."

Most of the refugees due to arrive in Dresden have fled war-torn Syria.

Housing problem

Authorities in the state of Saxony, of which Dresden is the capital, say that the state took in 10,500 asylum seekers in the first half of the year - three times as many as in the same period last year - making it necessary to extend reception facilities.

They say the some 60 tents are only a temporary measure and will be taken down again when the situation allows.

In recent months, a number of refugee accommodation facilities have been set on fire in Germany in protest at the growing wave of asylum seekers coming to the country.

tj/jlw (dpa, AFP, epd)

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