Riots break out in Leipzig & Rome during anti-lockdown protests

German police said demonstrators protesting coronavirus restrictions attacked them in the city of Leipzig Saturday, after the crowd was told to disperse.

"There were numerous attacks against security forces," police tweeted while media broadcast images of projectiles and fireworks thrown at police who had established a security cordon near the city's main train station.

The crowd in the eastern German city was estimated to number around 20,000 and German media reported that some of those who clashed with police were members of far-right groups.

Some of the protesters also attacked journalists and people taking part in a counter-demonstration in Leipzig, a large student city. The police were out in force and made several arrests but the clashes continued well into the evening.

Riots also broke out in Rome on Saturday.

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To curb the coronavirus spike in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel has appealed to people to help achieve a "turnaround" by respecting a new round of shutdowns until the end of the month.

Germany recorded a record 23,000 new virus cases on Saturday. The total number of Covid-19-related deaths stood at 11,226.

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