German police have used pepper spray to break up a protest by dozens of far-right demonstrators near a building being used as a refugee center southeast of Dresden. The National Democratic Party organized the protest.
Demonstrators blocked the road in Heidenau, southeast of Dresden, which leads to the building (photo) intended for the refugees who were arriving later on Friday. The protestors threw stones, bottles and firecrackers.
Police quickly cleared the demonstrators using pepper spray.
The building, a former hardware store, is to be the temporary home for several hundred asylum seekers. A bus with the first of about 250 refugees arrived at the building shortly after midnight on Friday.
According to police, a security service is being provided to ensure safety in and around the building.
Earlier in the day, spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, Steffen Seibert said: “Germany’s asylum law, which is a basic right to asylum against political persecution, is certainly one of the best achievements of our constitution.”
Earlier on Friday police in Berlin said they had arrested two men and a woman in connection with a failed arson attack on a home for asylum seekers.
A watchman at the temporary housing unit said a group of people threw burning wood into the compound just before midnight on Thursday. A resident was able to put the fire out.
Police in Bavaria said they were investigating an arson attack on a refugee home in Neustadt an der Waldnaab. There were no injuries.
The government has spoken out strongly against the attacks. Chancellor Angela Merkel said there could be “no justification” for them.
Some 800,000 refugees are expected to apply for asylum in Germany this year – the highest number in the European Union.