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Special Police Team Set Up; Gang War Feared

May 12, 1992

MAGDEBURG, Germany (AP) _ A special police task force has been set up in Magdeburg to investigate an attack by neo-Nazis that killed one person and injured several others, police said Tuesday.

Magdeburg police spokesman Johann Lottmann said officials are worried the weekend violence would set off a gang war between neo-Nazi and leftist groups.

About 60 far-right skinheads with baseball bats attacked 20 leftist ″punks″ at a Magdeburg restaurant Saturday. A 23-year-old man died from his injuries Monday. Several other people were seriously hurt.

The neo-Nazis also demolished windows and furniture in the restaurant, smashed cars and robbed a snackbar.

Lottman said police could not stop the violence at the restaurant because they were responding to an earlier call about 30 youths vandalizing cars in another section of the city.

Magdeburg is about 60 miles west of Berlin in former East Germany.

Violence by disenchanted far-right youths in economically depressed eastern Germany has been a frequent problem since the 1990 reunification. Most of the attacks have been against foreigners and asylum seekers, but the skinheads also clash with leftists who openly oppose neo-Nazis.

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