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Germans protesting against racism

Tens of thousands of people are protesting in the eastern German city of Dresden against racism and for an open society.

The protests came in reaction to weekly anti-Islamic demonstrations that have been taking place for months in Dresden.

The weekly rallies are organised by a group calling itself Patriotic Europeans Against The Islamisation of the West, or Pegida, and have been attended by up to 18,000 people - but Saturday's counter protests mobilised more than twice the crowds, around 35,000 protesters.

German news agency dpa said Dresden mayor Helma Orosz told protesters that their city "won't be split apart by hatred".

Chancellor Angela Merkel had previously called on Germans not to participate in Pegida rallies.

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