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People walk through the Kaiserslautern, Germany pedestrian zone from Stiftsplatz to Marktstrasse on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2018.
People walk through the Kaiserslautern, Germany pedestrian zone from Stiftsplatz to Marktstrasse on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2018. (Heather Benit/Stars and Stripes)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Servicemembers and Defense Department civilians are warned to avoid the city’s main pedestrian area Wednesday because of a planned right-wing rally and a left-wing counterdemonstration that could erupt in violence.

“A demonstration will take place tonight starting at 6:30 p.m. in #Kaiserslautern Schillerplatz,” U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz said in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon. “Both right and left wing are expected to be present and violence is anticipated. #USAGRP Directorate of Emergency Services recommend all personnel avoid this area tonight.”

After gathering at Schillerplatz, the right-wing group will march through Marktstrasse, Kerstrasse and Pirmasenser Strasse, said Luca Schulz, spokesman for the Kaiserslautern police.

A Facebook group called Kaiserslautern gegen Rechts, or Kaiserslautern against the Right, has called upon people to show up and protest the right-wing rally.

The protest is connected to the killing of a 35-year-old German man early Sunday in the east German city of Chemnitz. A 23-year-old Syrian man and a 22-year-old Iraqi man have been arrested in connection with the killing, whose circumstances are under investigation.

The death sparked violent protests in Chemnitz, where right-wing extremists attacked foreigners on the streets.

Police will be present in Kaiserslautern’s city center Wednesday night, Schulz said.

kloeckner.marcus@stripes.com

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