German justice minister condemns protests against new refugee home near Dresden in the east

Germany's justice minister is condemning protests against a new asylum home near Dresden where dozens of people have demonstrated against housing refugees in a former hotel.

Minister Heiko Maas said Thursday that protesters' calls for violence against refugees in the town of Freital "are absolutely unacceptable." He says there's no place in Germany for anti-refugee sentiment, directed at people who have lost everything and are looking for help.

Members of Pegida, a right-wing movement that's staged regular rallies in Dresden and elsewhere against immigrants and Muslims, helped initiate the protests. The German news agency dpa reported that they demonstrated against the arrival of the first refugee families with shouting and slurs.

Pro-refugee activists clashed with the anti-refugee protesters Wednesday night and the two sides had to be separated by police.