Merkel to visit Chemnitz after murder, racist violence

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FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Sept 4, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – 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.

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