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German police use water cannon to keep left-wing demonstrators from right in Cologne protest

  • Police use a water cannon against counter demonstrators protesting against a right-wing demonstration  in Cologne, Germany, Sunday Oct. 25,  2015. A demonstration, organized by far-right groups and members of Germany’s football hooligan scene, named HOGESA,  is observed by about  3,500 policemen to secure the demonstration and counter protests in the city.   (Marius Becker/dpa via AP)

    Police use a water cannon against counter demonstrators protesting against a right-wing demonstration in Cologne, Germany, Sunday Oct. 25, 2015. A demonstration, organized by far-right groups and members of Germany’s football hooligan scene, named HOGESA, is observed by about 3,500 policemen to secure the demonstration and counter protests in the city. (Marius Becker/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Far-right protestors gather at a demonstration  in Cologne, Germany, Sunday Oct. 25, 2015. A demonstration, organized by far-right groups and members of Germany’s football hooligan scene, named HOGESA,  is observed by about  3,500 policemen to secure the demonstration and counter protests in the city.  AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

    Far-right protestors gather at a demonstration in Cologne, Germany, Sunday Oct. 25, 2015. A demonstration, organized by far-right groups and members of Germany’s football hooligan scene, named HOGESA, is observed by about 3,500 policemen to secure the demonstration and counter protests in the city. AP Photo/Martin Meissner)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police try to separate  right-wing  demonstrators, left,  and counter demonstrators in Cologne, Germany,  Sunday Oct. 25, 2015.   The demonstration, organized by far-right groups and members of Germany’s football hooligan scene, named HOGESA,  is observed by about  3,500 policemen to secure the demonstration and counter protests in the city.   (Marius Becker/dpa via AP)

    Police try to separate right-wing demonstrators, left, and counter demonstrators in Cologne, Germany, Sunday Oct. 25, 2015. The demonstration, organized by far-right groups and members of Germany’s football hooligan scene, named HOGESA, is observed by about 3,500 policemen to secure the demonstration and counter protests in the city. (Marius Becker/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

German police sprayed left-wing protesters with a water cannon to keep them apart from an anti-Islam demonstration by a far-right group in western Germany.

Some 3,500 police in full riot gear were in Cologne on Sunday afternoon, sometimes stepping in to keep the two groups from fighting.

About 10,000 people — including many families waving signs reading "refugees welcome" — were protesting the demonstration Sunday by 1,000 from a group called "Hooligans against Salafists," the dpa news agency reported.

The more-radical offshoot of Dresden's anti-Islam PEGIDA group had clashed with counter-protesters last year in Cologne, injuring dozens. Police have stepped up measures this year to try and prevent similar violence.