More than 1,000 people have turned out for a right-wing demonstration in the eastern German city of Chemnitz on Thursday evening as local politicians met for a public forum to discuss violence in the city after a series of violent confrontations that followed the killing of a German man by two immigrants.
"We continue to have a tense situation. Our officers are working in concentrated fashion, with the support of police from other states and the federal police," Saxony Interior Minister Roland Woeller told German news agency dpa.
"The aim is to maintain law and order with calm and discretion. We will not allow people who are prepared to use force to take over the streets," Woeller added.
State Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer addressed the forum, and most of his cabinet were present.
Those entering the venue where the forum was being held were subjected to police controls. Police also kept the demonstrators and those attending the forum apart. The event took place in the rooms of the local football stadium.
In a hall within the stadium, Kretschmer called for a minutes silence to remember the victim of the killing.
"We will see to it that this crime is cleared up," he told a meeting of concerned citizens attended by several hundred.
Far right protesters sang the national anthem outside the Chemnitz football stadium on Thursday while one group held up a banner proclaiming "We are standing up for our children" as speakers with megaphones addressed the crowd.
The demonstration had been called by Pro Chemnitz, a right-wing group with some 18,000 followers that has been at the centre of demonstrations in the city following the stabbing of a 35-year-old German in the early hours of Sunday.
The AfD and PEGIDA, which is under observation by intelligence agencies, say they will march again in Chemnitz on Saturday to "mourn Daniel H. and the others killed by Germany's forced multiculturalisation."
Read more | Explained: The Chemnitz far-right protests and effect on AfD
In Wismar, another eastern town, police called for witnesses to come forward over an attack late on Wednesday on a 20-year-old migrant who was beaten with an iron chain by three assailants.
The Chemnitz stabbing has raised concerns of possible links between police and the far right in Saxony after prosecutors in the northern city of Bremen opened an investigation into a lawmaker, a former police officer, who is accused of leaking information of the arrest warrant against the Iraqi suspect.
Follow updates here: