Merkel to visit Chemnitz after murder, racist violence

05 Sep 2018 / 10:30 H.

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit the eastern city Chemnitz, scene in recent weeks of racist outbursts following the stabbing of a German allegedly by refugees, local authorities said Tuesday.
The veteran leader had "gladly accepted" an invitation from Chemnitz mayor Barbara Ludwig when the two spoke by phone, a spokesperson for city hall told AFP.
It was not immediately clear when Merkel plans to make the trip from capital Berlin to the Saxon city of around 240,000 people, which since the killing has seen few federal politicians show their faces.
Chemnitz has dominated headlines since the last weekend of August, when a 35-year-old local man was stabbed to death, allegedly by asylum seekers.
Two suspects, an Iraqi and a Syrian, are in police custody following the killing, while a city court on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for a third man, another Iraqi.
Far-right groups and thousands of local citizens took to the streets in the days after the stabbing, with a number of participants attacking people who looked foreign, and showing the illegal Nazi salute.
The Chemnitz knife attack is the latest in a series of violent crimes by refugees that have garnered massive media attention and stoked anger at Merkel's decision not to close Germany's borders to more than one million migrants and refugees who arrived since 2015.
Such spotlighted cases helped propel far-right anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) into parliament last year and made it a leading political force in formerly communist eastern states like Saxony.
The announcement of Merkel's visit came one day after 65,000 people turned out at a rock concert in Chemnitz against racism that went off without incident. — AFP

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