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Far-right group launches street patrol in German town

BERLIN: A German far-right group has launched a vigilante street patrol in a Bavarian town where four Afghan and Iranian asylum seekers allegedly attacked passers-by last weekend, local authorities said on Thursday.

The mayor of Amberg, Michael Cerny, said he was “shocked” after the extremist NPD party posted photos online of four people wearing red protective vests to create “safe spaces”, including outside a refugee center.

“I can understand the insecurity seen in some of the reactions of some Ambergris, but the hatred and the threats of violence from all over the country go way too far,” Cerny told the local daily Mittelbayerische Zeitung.

Police said they were investigating the reports, which included a group calling itself “Kraut/pol” accusing town authorities in an email of failing to protect the citizens of Amberg.

Police last Saturday detained four men from Afghanistan and Iran, aged 17 to 19, who had allegedly drunkenly attacked passers-by at random.

Twelve people aged 16 to 42 suffered mostly minor injuries, and a 17-year-old was treated for head wounds in hospital. The case revived a simmering debate over immigration, integration, and crime that has flared since the mass influx of over one million asylum seekers from 2015.

The newspaper said the suspects included an Afghan man with an ongoing asylum request and three rejected asylum seekers — an Iranian who has no passport, an Afghan who is underage, and another Afghan with an ongoing appeal against his deportation order.

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