Evening Express

German man dies ‘after fight with Afghans’

Two Afghans have been arrested after a 22-year-old man died in an eastern German city, police said.

A fight between the Afghans, aged 18 and 20, the German victim and another German man allegedly took place in the city of Koethen after a dispute over who had impregnated a woman, news agency dpa reported.

Police said an autopsy revealed the man died of heart failure that was “not in direct causal relationship with his injuries”.

Local media reported he had a previous heart problem.

Given the autopsy results, police said the 18-year-old was being investigated on suspicion of bodily harm and the 20-year-old on a charge of bodily harm with death resulting.

People gather in Koethen after police arrested two Afghan men (Jens Meyer/AP)

Despite unanswered questions about what led to the man’s death, Alice Weidel, a leader of the anti-migrant Alternative For Germany party, wrote on Facebook: “How many more need to die? Germany needs a migration turnaround.”

Organised services for the German who died were held at the scene and later at a city church.

In the evening, about 500 far-right supporters marched in the city.

A few dozen were on hand for a counter-protest.

Large numbers of police, including from surrounding states, were deployed to keep watch and no major incidents were reported.

The death comes after hundreds of protesters took to the streets in the city of Chemnitz over the killing of a German man who was stabbed and killed on August 26 after authorities say a verbal argument with migrant men escalated.

An Iraqi and a Syrian have been arrested on manslaughter charges.

That day several foreigners were injured after authorities said they were attacked in the streets.

The next night, around 6,000 far-right protesters including neo-Nazis, members of Alternative For Germany and others clashed with counter-demonstrators.

Protesters hold photos of people they claim have been killed by migrants, during a demonstration in Chemnitz (Jens Meyer/AP)

On the sidelines, masked protesters attacked the kosher Shalom restaurant with rocks and bottles, injuring the owner while shouting “Jewish pig, get out of Germany”.

The unrest following the killing has focused new attention on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision three years ago to allow hundreds of thousands of refugees into the country, straining its resources and hospitality beyond what some Germans considered acceptable.

Anti-migrant sentiment has been particularly strong in Saxony, the state where Chemnitz is located.

The nearby state capital of Dresden is home to the group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West, or Pegida, and Alternative For Germany received almost a quarter of the vote in Saxony last year.

The protests have also exposed a rift between Ms Merkel and top security officials.

Her domestic spy chief last week openly questioned her spokesman’s statement that foreigners were “hunted” in the streets by the angry mob, saying he had seen no credible evidence of it, and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on Thursday expressed sympathy for the protesters.

“If I were not a minister, I’d have gone to the streets as a citizen,” Mr Seehofer said, quickly adding: “Naturally, not together with the radicals.”

Saxony state Interior Minister Roland Woeller met the owner of the Jewish restaurant on Saturday and assured him police were working intensively to “solve this abhorrent crime”, the dpa news agency reported.

Police last week said they had already identified six far-right protesters who gave the stiff-armed Hitler salute or committed other violations of Germany’s statute banning the display of Nazi symbols during the protests.

They said they were reviewing video evidence in dozens of other cases.