At least 4,000 football hooligans and members of the German far right demonstrating against Islamic extremism clashed with police in city of Cologne on Sunday.
The march had been registered with authorities by a regional far-party called “Pro NRW” as part of the initiative known as “Hooligans against Salafists”.
The Regional Interior Minister, Ralf Jäger, said: “all they want to do is drink, beat people up and fight. They abuse the fundamental right to demonstrate and this must be prevented in the future. We hope that we can achieve this with the help of the justice system and what we’ve learned from yesterday.”
Forty-four police officers were reportedly injured in the clashes and 17 people were arrested.
Earlier this month the German cities of Hamburg and Celle witnessed outbreaks of violence between Kurds and Salafists. fuelled by the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq.