BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government spoke out on Monday against violent protests against asylum seekers in the eastern German town of Heidenau over the weekend.
"The chancellor and the whole government condemn in the strongest manner possible the violence and the aggressive atmosphere towards foreigners there," government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular news conference.
"It is disgusting how right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis attempt to spread their idiotic message of hatred around an asylum shelter," he said.
At least 31 German police officers were hurt in scuffles with about 600 protesters in the early hours of Saturday, many hurling bottles and stones, angry about the arrival of asylum seekers.
(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Paul Carrel)