Clashes hit German anti-Islam rally

Scuffles have broken out after about 1,600 people demonstrated against a rally held by a group opposing the building of a mosque in the German city of Cologne. The rally, held by Pro Koeln, a right-wing group, led to violence after left-wing demonstrators demanded entry to it on Saturday, saying it had been described as a public event. Wolfgang Baldes, a police spokesman, said: “There were minor scuffles. “We’ve not allowed some of the protesters to get into the square … police intervened and secured a distance. “We have more than 5,000 policemen here for the weekend, we are well prepared.” ‘Racism and agitation’ The counter-demonstration by hundreds of left-wing protesters, members of church groups, trade unions and the Green party came after about 200 people turned out for the Pro Klein rally. “Today we’re sending a signal that democrats stand united against right-wing radicalism, racism and agitation,” Reinhard Bütikofer, the former head of the Green party, said.