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Refugee crisis: eastern Europe ministers meet as Merkel calls for unity – live – The Guardian

German police are investigating a number of new arson attacks on planned refugee homes across the country over the weekend, and have been forced to protect another refugee home from a far-right mob in the eastern town of Bischofswerda.

A sports centre that had been converted into an emergency shelter in Wertheim, southern Germany, was set on fire on Saturday night, along with 330 beds that had only been installed on Saturday. The building is now reported to be in danger of collapse and cannot now be used. Police said they had discovered evidence of a break-in at the back door.

Some 1,500 people gathered at the ruins of the building on Sunday to demonstrate against xenophobia.

There was also a smaller fire in an apartment block that was due to be used as a refugee home near the northern city of Rostock on Sunday. Police said it remained unclear whether it could still be used.

Meanwhile, police have also had to set up a protective perimeter around a refugee home in Bischofswerda, eastern Germany, where a far-right mob has gathered for three nights running to protest the arrival of refugees.

Police said up to 100 people, some drunk, gathered around the shelter shouting anti-immigrant slogans as buses of refugees arrived. One bottle was thrown at a bus carrying refugees, but there were no injuries or arrests, though two men are under investigation for damaging property and doing Hitler salutes. According to local authorities, 410 refugees have been housed in the shelter, which has a capacity of 500. Police said the protection will remain in place for two weeks. Saxony Interior Minister Markus Ulbig called the protests “shameful.”

In a separate incident, two cars belonging to members of a refugee initiative were set on fire in Neuhardenberg, eastern Germany.

Refugee crisis: eastern Europe ministers meet as Merkel calls for unity – live – The Guardian

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