November 2, 2016 / 7:10 PM / 3 years ago

Far rightists threaten asylum seekers in eastern German town

The city sign is pictured in Bautzen, Germany, March 24, 2016. Picture taken March 24. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

BERLIN (Reuters) - Suspected far-right extremists have threatened asylum seekers in the eastern German town of Bautzen, police said on Wednesday, adding to signs of discontent over an influx of almost one million last year.

Police cited witnesses as saying that about eight men had threatened a group of two German women and three young asylum seekers in the town on Tuesday evening. Two of the men aimed objects resembling pistols at the asylum seekers, police said.

Witnesses said the men belonged to the right-wing scene and investigations were under way.

Some Germans fear their country is being overrun by foreigners and Chancellor Angela Merkel has drawn criticism for her liberal migrant policy as the number of violent attacks on asylum seekers or their reception centers has risen.

Merkel’s conservatives have lost some support to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD).

In another incident in Bautzen, police quoted witnesses as saying a 20-year-old Libyan, who was under the influence of alcohol, accompanied by two other asylum seekers assaulted a 19-year-old German outside a supermarket.

Police took the Libyan into custody. Around 10-15 people pursued the two other asylum seekers and threw stones at them before being dispersed by police. Four people of German nationality were detained and police were checking whether they were also involved in the other Bautzen incident.

Bautzen police said they had launched criminal proceedings against a 29-year-old German man in possession of a stun gun who is suspected of having threatened an asylum seeker.

Right-wing extremists and asylum seekers have previously clashed in Bautzen.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; editing by Mark Heinrich

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