Berlin far-right supporters outnumbered by counter-protest

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image copyrightGetty Images
image captionAfD supporters waved German flags as they marched through the capital

Thousands of supporters and opponents of Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party have held rival demonstrations in the capital Berlin.

Police said about 5,000 people attended the AfD march on Sunday and about 20,000 opposed them.

Supporters of the anti-immigration AfD chanted "We are the people", and were met with chants of "Go away Nazis".

It was the party's largest gathering since it became Germany's largest opposition party earlier this year.

It took 13% of the vote in a general election.

Police had been deployed to prevent clashes. They say they used pepper spray to keep the two groups apart.

image copyrightAFP
image captionAfD leader Alexander Gauland (L) was at the demonstration

AfD supporters gathered at Berlin's main train station shortly after midday, following a call to members to march through the city "for the future of Germany".

Images showed riot police making arrests following sporadic clashes at Friedrichstrasse station.

image copyrightEPA
image captionThe AfD supporters were far outnumbered by the counter-demonstrators

In a newspaper interview ahead of the demonstrations on Sunday, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the general secretary of Germany's main governing party, the Christian Democrats, accused AfD of anti-Semitism.

She told Bild am Sonntag the party was a threat to Jewish life in Germany, adding: "There are anti-Semites in all corners of your party". The AfD denies the accusation.

AfD Berlin chief Georg Pazderski said ahead of the march that many of the party's supporters feared being "stigmatised" despite the party's electoral success.

image copyrightEPA
image captionPolice arrested a man on a platform of Friedrichstrasse station

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