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by Our Foreign Desk
POLICE in the German town of Bautzen said yesterday they were forced to defend refugees from a far-right mob.
Spokesman Thomas Knaup said around 80 Germans and 20 refugees had started fighting on Wednesday night in a market square in the town near Dresden.
He said police had separated the groups, claiming officers had been attacked by some of the asylum-seekers who threw bottles and wooden slats.
The far-right protesters shouted nationalist slogans and chased the asylum-seekers back to their shelter, where they were put under police guard.
Later, some of the far-right group threw stones at an ambulance, preventing it from approaching the shelter to help an injured refugee.
An 18-year-old Moroccan refugee was taken to hospital.
The incident that apparently sparked the riot occurred on Tuesday night when a resident was hurt by a thrown bottle.
On Wednesday, residents accused refugees of taking over the square before fighting broke out.
There are a total of four refugee shelters in Bautzen and nearby Niedergurig, and the town has seen past outbreaks of violent xenophobia.
In February, locals celebrated when fire damaged a former hotel in Bautzen that was being turned into a refugee home.
In March, President Joachim Gauck was subjected to a torrent of verbal abuse when he visited the town to discuss the settling of refugees there.
Nearby Dresden is the birthplace of the anti-immigrant Pegida movement.
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