German police said Thursday that authorities are investigating a case of arson at a Turkish restaurant in the eastern city of Chemnitz by suspected right-wing extremists.
No one was injured in the incident, but 17 people in the building had to be evacuated after the fire broke out as the result of an explosion in the restaurant at around 2:20 am Thursday, police said.
Witnesses saw three men flee the scene after the fire broke out.
Recent xenophobic protests in the city of Chemnitz — prompted by the death of a German citizen in August, allegedly stabbed by asylum seekers — shocked Germany.
After the stabbing, right-wing groups organized multiple marches that culminated in an 8,000-strong rally representing the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), the anti-Muslim Pegida movement and the right-wing campaign group Pro Chemnitz.
The violence in Chemnitz, where skinheads hounded migrants and performed the illegal Hitler salute in August, exposed deep divisions over Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision in 2015 to welcome almost 1 million, mostly Muslim asylum seekers.
German authorities are increasingly concerned over growing right-wing terrorism in the country. Lately, far-right groups have drawn up several "enemy lists" containing names and addresses of more than 25,000 people, a parliamentary inquiry revealed in July. The Interior Ministry said the lists were found in various police investigations and operations against far-right groups in the last seven years.
Since 2016, Germany has conducted an increasing number of nationwide raids targeting right-wing groups, including houses, apartments and other properties believed to be owned by members of such groups, targeting the so-called Reich citizens movement, Reichsbürgers.
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