German-based anti-Islam group PEGIDA holds first rally in English city of Newcastle

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The German-based anti-Islam group PEGIDA has held its first rally in Britain, sparking scuffles as police tried to keep the group away from counterdemonstrators. Five people have been arrested.

Police said Saturday that about 375 people joined the PEGIDA rally in Newcastle, 290 miles (465 kilometers) north of London. About 2,000 people joined the counterdemonstration.

Police say the arrests were isolated and the event was largely peaceful.

The leader of the Liberty GB political party Paul Weston told the gathering that Muslims will become a majority in Britain in the coming decades and will "take over" the country.

The anti-Islam group appears to have lost momentum in Germany with the number of people attending its rallies dropping in recent months.