Hundreds of right-wing demonstrators gathered in the eastern German city of Gera to protest plans to house refugees in the territory of a former hospital, police said.

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More than 70 vehicles with about 150 passengers also marched through the city to protest plans to house refugees at the former Wismouth hospital, according to local police.

About 60 people took part in a counter-demonstration calling for solidarity with migrants and demanding that foreigners be treated with dignity.

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To alleviate the overcrowded reception centre in the town of Zul, west of Gera, the government of the state of Thuringia decided to set up an accommodation centre for 200 refugees at the former hospital.

The building of the hospital has already been used to accommodate asylum seekers in the period from 2015 and 2017.

On the eve of the demonstration, Gera Mayor Julian Fonnarb said he was outraged by the heated debate over housing for refugees.

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