The German city of Leipzig saw its streets turn into an arena for intense clashes between police and rioters on New Year’s Eve as hundreds gathered in the city’s east.
Soon after the clock struck midnight, the Leipzig police began receiving the first reports about violence and property damage. Officers had to respond to almost 170 calls in Leipzig and its surrounding areas in just over two hours on Saturday night, police said in a statement. They called it a “sharp increase” in comparison to an “ordinary Friday night.”
A crowd comprising “hundreds” of people gathered at Eisenbahnstrasse Street in the city’s east, with the area quickly becoming an arena for clashes between rioting revelers and law enforcement. Police vehicles were pelted with various objects, including firecrackers. The rioters also set up barricades from shopping carts and set them on fire.
Photos from the scene showed officers in riot gear moving through thick smoke coming from the burning barricades. The Eisenbahnstrasse has previously gained notoriety due to local crime rates and the drug trade. It was even dubbed Germany’s “worst street.”