After the riots, police in Germany have been tallying damage and looking for suspects.
The German city of Leipzig saw its streets turn into an arena for intense clashes between police and rioters on New Year’s Eve as hundreds gathered in the city’s east.
The first calls about property and violence were received by the Leipzig police shortly after midnight. According to police, officers responded to more than 170 calls within Leipzig and surrounding areas in less that two hours. It was called a “sharp increase”Contrary to the an “ordinary Friday night.”
The crowd includes “hundreds” of people gathered at Eisenbahnstrasse Street in the city’s east, with the area quickly becoming an arena for clashes between rioting revelers and law enforcement. Numerous objects were used to pelt police vehicles, including firecrackers. They also put up bars from shopping carts, and then set them on fire.
Photographs from the scene show officers wearing riot gear as they move through thick smoke from the barricades. Due to the high crime rate in this area and drug trafficking, Eisenbahnstrasse was once well-known. It was even dubbed Germany’s “worst street.”
Although several police vehicles sustained damage, the officers said that no injuries were suffered and that they had taken control of the situation by around 2 AM local time. There is no clear indication of who or what inspired the rioting.
It is not the first time Leipzig has seen clashes on New Year’s Eve. For a long time, Leipzig has been known for being a hub of left-wing violence. Last year, unknown assailants set vehicles belonging to the German Army – the Bundeswehr – on fire. Two years ago, the city saw riots in the Connewitz district – an area which saw a massive police deployment this year and remained largely peaceful on Saturday night.
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Leipzig was not the only German city that witnessed clashes between rioters and police on New Year’s Eve, as similar incidents were reported in Stuttgart and Dresden but they were smaller in scale.
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