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Police clashed with anti-neo-Nazi demonstrators who gathered to disrupt an annual neo-Nazi march in the German city of Dortmund Saturday.

German news organization Deutsche Welle described the demonstrators as "left-wing extremists," about 1,500 of whom tried to break through the barriers police put up to separate them from the marching neo-Nazis.

The annual march is one of the largest in the country, with some 750 members taking part, Deutsche Well reported.

By contrast, about 10,000 anti-Nazi demonstrators gathered to take part in the counter-march, which turned violent.

Deutsche Welle:

Police were pelted with stones and bottles, as well as being targeted with pepper spray and fireworks by the left-wing extremists. One police officer was severely injured, according to the police, with several others also hurt.

Officers used batons and water cannon to break up the rioters, with more than 270 demonstrators arrested.

The violence against police was condemned by the minister in charge of interior affairs for the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia, Ralf Jäger. Police had been "defending people's right to demonstrate," said Jäger.

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