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Human chain blocks neo-Nazi rally



Thousands of people stand at the start of the human chain with a banner reading "Against violence and hostility to foreigners".

Thousands of people stand at the start of the human chain with a banner reading "Against violence and hostility to foreigners". (AFP)

Thousands of people have gathered in Dresden to block an annual neo-Nazi march commemorating the allied bombing of the German city during World War II.

The neo-Nazis gathered outside the Neustadt railway station to mark the anniversary of devastating bombing raids.

They planned to stage a "funeral march" after listening to a series of speeches but more than 15,000 counter-protestors blocked the rally.

"We have for the first time succeeded in preventing the biggest neo-Nazi march in Europe," Lena Roth, of the Dresden Without Nazis alliance, said.

Police reported "a few incidents" including attacks on officers by "violent demonstrators" who were not identified. But they later said the neo-Nazis were not able to stage the march.

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