Merkel says images from Chemnitz protest 'very clearly' showed hate

Slideshow ( 3 images )

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said she stood by her earlier comments condemning images of hate and the targeting of innocent people broadcast after a far-right protest triggered by a fatal stabbing in the eastern city of Chemnitz last month.

Far-right leaders have called for Merkel and her spokesman Steffen Seibert to apologize for exaggerating the anti-migrant violence after the state premier of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer on Wednesday said that “no witchhunt” had occurred in the protests.

Merkel, asked about the issue, told reporters: “We saw pictures that very clearly revealed hate and thereby also the persecution of innocent people. One must distance oneself from that. That is what Mr. Seibert did, and I am doing, and have already done.”

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Maria Sheahan