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  • 15.12.2018

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Violence mars German right wing congress
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15.12.2018

Violence mars German right wing congress

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Several police officers and at least one demonstrator were injured when a protest against the party congress of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Hanover turned violent.
A police spokeswoman in the northern German city said that authorities had used water cannon to disperse several hundred protesters forming street blockades to block access to the congress venue on Saturday. Television footage showed protesters being carried away by police.
She added that one officer had sustained an injury to the hand after a protester threw a bottle at him, while one of the protesters broke his leg and was taken to hospital.
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The party congress kicked off despite the violence, and was expected to centre on infighting between the radical nationalist and the traditional conservative arms within the party.
The AfD seized on discontent with Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door migration policies to win 12.6 per cent of the vote in the country's September 24 election.
It has since become the first major right-wing party to enter German parliament the Bundestag since World War II, with a caucus of 92 lawmakers after a minor split with a former leader.
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The congress is expected to attract up to 8500 attendees.
A protest against the party congress late on Friday that drew some 1000 demonstrators ended without incident, police said.
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