BERLIN (AP) — Angela Merkel, running for re-election next month, says she won't avoid eastern Germany despite encountering renewed public heckling at a campaign rally there.

Merkel was greeted with whistles and shouts of "get lost" at campaign stops in the eastern states of Saxony and Thuringia on Thursday.

The incidents recalled scenes in the eastern town of Heidenau two years ago, when protesters screamed abuse at Merkel for allowing hundreds of thousands of refugees to come to Germany.

Merkel told reporters Friday at an election event in Berlin that she enjoys campaigning everywhere "and I think it's particularly important that we go to those places where democracy needs to be fought for."