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German authorities canceled a march by the anti-Islam PEGIDA movement in Dresden due to a "concrete threat" against the group's weekly gathering, officials said Sunday.
PEGIDA — or "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West" — drew 25,000 people at its last rally in eastern Germany. While some of the PEGIDA protesters are believed to be right-wing extremists, the majority are not believed to be. The group's protests, fueled by fears that the country could be overrun by Muslims and other immigrants, have alarmed German officials.
Dresden Police said in a statement Monday that it had received information relating to a "concrete danger" in connection with PEGIDA's weekly rally and that it was banning the demonstration and public gatherings in the city for Monday.
"Attackers were called on to intermix with the PEGIDA demonstrators in order to commit a killing of single members of the PEGIDA organizing team," Dresden police president Dieter Kroll said in a statement. "We have to act on the assumption that there is an immediate danger to the lives of all participants in the demonstration.”
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— Andy Eckardt and Carlo Angerer
Reuters contributed to this report.