Germany bolsters fight against right-wing extremism

16th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Germany said it launched a new centre Friday to bolster the fight against right-wing extremism, as the country grapples with the fallout from revelations of a neo-Nazi murder spree.

The new so-called "defence centre" will seek to improve the exchange of information between domestic intelligence agents and police at the federal and state level.

It follows the discovery last month of a neo-Nazi gang believed to have been behind the unsolved murders of 10 people, mainly shopkeepers of Turkish origin, between 2000 and 2007.

The group managed to remain under the authorities' radar for more than a decade, and only came to light when two of its members were found dead last month in an apparent suicide.

Another member turned herself in but refused to speak to police.

Police have been rounding up suspects in the case, which Chancellor Angela Merkel has described as a "disgrace" for Germany and has acknowledged gross errors in the course of the investigation.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich opened the centre based in western Germany, in the city of Cologne and the town of Meckenheim near Bonn, with an initial staff of up to 140, the government said.

© 2011 AFP

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