German police said they arrested 211 far-right, xenophobic extremists who broke into riots in Leipzig, smashing windows and setting cars alight. The police described the group as "football hooligans," according to Agence France-Presse. They stormed a left-leaning quarter of the city while another conservative group, the anti-Islamic PEGIDA, protested peacefully in another part of the city.
PEGIDA does not have a stellar history of peaceful protest - members of the group clashed with other protesters in Cologne e over the weekend, as HNGN previously reported.
Protests have broken out across the country in recent days, protesting the influx of Syrian refugees and the series of crimes that occurred on New Year's Eve. Several of the crimes were reported to be committed by recent refugees. Violence was also committed by left-wing radicals, who vandalized a bus in response.
A total of 57 crimes were committed Monday night, each concerning weapons, explosives and narcotics.
Burghard Jung, Leipzig's mayor, decried the violence and called it "open street terror," according to Der Welle. "This isn't a political debate. This is real terror."
According to police, groups associated with Cologne's hooligan extremists have been coordinating attacks against Pakistani, Syrian and African men with the use of social media.
The mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, spoke to Der Spiegel Monday about the failure of the city's police force. "I'm not a police officer, but when groups of people flock together and women have to run the gauntlet between the central station and the cathedral (which is located adjacent to it), then it should be noticed," she said, according to Der Spiegel.
More than 1.1 million people sought asylum in Germany last year.