German police prevented armed members of a far-right group from detaining migrants crossing the Polish border.
More than 50 far-right vigilantes were armed with pepper spray, a bayonet, a machete and batons, police said.
The group is believed to support the Third Way, a far-right party with suspected links to neo-Nazi groups.
The party has called on its members to take action against border crossings, which have increased since August.
Police seized the weapons and forced the group to leave the area near the town of Guben on Saturday evening and early Sunday, a spokesman said.
A counter-demonstration took place in opposition to far-right patrols.
“We don’t want to leave the region to neo-Nazis. We want to set an example that asylum is and will remain a human right,” the organizers of the vigil told the news site Der Spiegel.
Germany has sent another 800 police officers to the Polish border in an attempt to control the number of migrants attempting to enter the EU from Belarus, the interior minister reported Sunday.
“Hundreds of officers are currently on duty there day and night. If necessary, I am ready to strengthen them further,” Horst Seehofer told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
There have been more than 6,000 unauthorized entries into Germany from Belarus and Poland this year, he said.
There are no plans to close the border with Poland, he said, but added that controls may need to be reintroduced.
Half of the German far-right “prone to violence”
- May 3, 2019
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