POLICEMEN used tear gas and water cannons to quell rioting by hundreds of people in the fourth successive night of right-wing violence in the east German city of Rostock, police said yesterday.
The rioting began Saturday when neo-Nazi gangs attacked a hostel occupied by about 200 Romanian gypsies who were later evacuated. The attacks continued as gangs assembled near an abandoned hostel for foreign refugees and pelted police with stones and bottles.
A police spokesman said the youths who were arrested came from all over Germany and the rioting was expected to continue. "The town has become a gathering point for the extreme right from all over the country," he said.
The Rostock riots, the latest of hundreds of far-right attacks on refugee homes in united Germany, were condemned by politicians of all parties. But Chancellor Helmut Kohl's government plans to change Germany's liberal asylum law, to crack down on refugees who come for purely economic reasons.