Refugees and neo-Nazis battled it out on the streets of an east German town on Wednesday night with police fighting to save the migrants outnumbered five to one.
But police said the asylum seekers started the confrontation–and later hurled bottles at the police trying to save them from a beating.
About 100 far-right men and women attacked some 20 asylum seekers in the town of Bautzen after the migrants taunted them. Video footage shows chaotic scenes as fighting breaks out in the German town.
It comes as German chancellor Angela Merkel continues to fight for her political life over her open-door policy on immigration with the threat of fresh gains by the right-wing populist AfD party.
Police said the neo-Nazis were goaded before they began chanting ‘Bautzen for the Germans’ and bottles and fists began flying.
Police charged the groups with truncheons drawn and used pepper spray on both sides.
The violence ended when the young asylum seekers withdrew to their home in the town’s Dresdner Strasse with the mob pursuing them all the way.
Police stood guard at the premises all night in case of further attacks. One Moroccan youth, aged 18, required hospital treatment for a wound caused by bottle which hit him in the face.
The ambulance which was taking him away had to turn around and find another route after it was pelted with bricks and stones by the right-wingers.
Police said one local person was also seriously hurt in the disturbances.
A man identifying himself as Mehdi from Morocco later showed reporters a cut he says he received during the violent attacks
Bautzen, scene of a notorious secret police prison in the days when East Germany was a communist state, has witnessed frequent anti-immigrant violence.
In February a hotel planned to become an asylum centre was torched with onlookers cheering and clapping.