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Germany launches massive operation against neo-Nazi groups


German police conducted coordinated raids against neo-Nazi groups in multiple cities early on Wednesday.

Hundreds of police officers searched dozens of buildings in 11 federal states, targeting suspected members of neo-Nazi groups Combat 18, Atomwaffen Division, Knockout 51 and Sonderkommando 1418, public broadcaster ARD reported.

An active soldier was among 50 suspects identified by authorities, while four of them were arrested in the raids, according to the Der Spiegel magazine.

The operation came after Germany’s new government announced an action plan last month to combat racism and right-wing extremism.

Authorities were facing criticism, especially from human rights organizations, for underestimating the far-right threat in Germany and not seriously investigating crimes committed by right-wing extremists.

Far-right terror has claimed the lives of at least 218 people in the country since 1989, according to German NGO Amadeu Antonio Foundation.

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