Right-wing extremists have tried to storm a police station at Magdeburg's main train station. The group of 11 people tried to free a 32-year-old who had been arrested earlier by police.
The incident at the central station in the northeast German town of Magdeburg, 156 kilometers (97 miles) west of Berlin, had started in the late afternoon on Saturday with the arrest of a 32-year-old man for an attack on a pedestrian. The victim sustained head injuries.
Police said they were hindered in making the arrest by several partially masked individuals who had taken part in a demonstration by right-wing extremists in Dessau-Rosslau, 60 kilometers to the southeast.
The suspect had resisted arrest, attempting to take a baton from one of the officers. Magdeburg police said he had only been arrested by exerting "considerable effort and with the use of pepper spray."
Eleven of the man's associates tried to get to the arrested man but were pushed back by police before being expelled from the station.
There were also reports that the extremists were calling on a further 50 of their number to recover the man from custody.
A total of nine men and two women between the ages of 15 and 33 were arrested.
Right-wing violence on the rise
The number of violent crimes with a right-wing political motive has been rising substantially in Germany. Figures from the Interior Ministry for 2015 recorded 1,485 violent far-right crimes, up from 1,029 in 2014.
The ministry reported a large increase in the broader category of "hate crimes" such as offences of a racist or anti-Semitic nature, or targeting people because of their religion. They rose 72 percent in 2015 to 10,373 from 5,858 the previous year.
At the time, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said, "The rise in right-wing politically motivated crime is above all evident in xenophobic incidents."
"That is unacceptable and will be met with strong measures by the police and justice system," the interior minister said.
jm/lw (dpa, AFP)