Several people injured in riots in Hamburg | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 13.09.2009
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Several people injured in riots in Hamburg

Police say at least 60 left-wing protesters were arrested after riots broke out in Hamburg for a second night on Saturday, injuring several people. The unrest came after a demonstration aginst a far-right rally.

Police use a water cannon in Hamburg

Police used water canons to break up the rioters

Police spokesman Ralf Meyer said the latest violence erupted after a group of rioters broke several windows of a police station in the northern port city. He said several people, including police officers, were injured in the scuffles. Nearly 2,000 police officers were deployed to contain the violence.

The rioters threw stones at the police, set fire to car tyres in the street, demolished a bus stop and turned over a car, before splitting up and fleeing among the festival crowd.

The unrest came after an all-night street festival in Hamburg's Schanzenviertel district and a demonstration against a rally held by the far-right NPD party.

Hamburg regularly sees clashes between police and left-wing demonstrators.

On Friday night, around 100 members of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) had gathered to demonstrate against Saturday's street festival in the Schanzenviertel district.A counter demonstration was held by more than 2,000 people, which included members of trade unions, political parties and left-wing group.

Police said the trouble began when a group of around 700 leftists tried to break through police ranks separating the two groups. The leftist protesters reportedly threw stones and fireworks at the officers, set rubbish bins on fire and smashed up a number of cars.

A group of rioters also attacked a police car with iron bars, and threw a paving stone through the rear window, prompting a police officer to fire a warning shot from his pistol. Officials had to resort to batons, pepper spray and water cannons to disperse rioters.

The Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Party (CDU), have in recent days vowed to renew efforts to ban Germany's far-right neo-Nazi NPD party.

But Heino Vahldieck, who heads the Hamburg office of the German domestic intelligence agency, said it wouldn't be easy.

"I am currently of the opinion that the legal hurdles are so high that it will be a problem to get over them," Vahldieck told German press agency dpa.

Editor: Sonia Phalnikar

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