German police attacked with stones, iron bars while enforcing coronavirus social distance measures

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Police in Germany were attacked with stones and iron bars while attempting to disperse a large group that had gathered outside in Frankfurt late Friday in violation of lockdown orders meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus, authorities said.

As an officer stepped out of a patrol vehicle to enforce the social distancing measures, a member of the group threw a large stone at the car and broke the side window, a police spokesman told German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

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Police chased the group but were unable to apprehend any suspects at the time.

In order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, the German government has considerably restricted public life and asked the citizens to stay at home and keep a distance from other people. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

In order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, the German government has considerably restricted public life and asked the citizens to stay at home and keep a distance from other people. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

A second officer was attacked shortly after by a group of about 20 people when he got out of his patrol vehicle, German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported. Police said some were wielding stones, roof tiles and iron bars while threatening officers.

Police again chased after the group, and a suspect threw an 11-pound metal plate that almost struck officers, authorities said in a statement obtained by news outlets.

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Investigators deployed a helicopter to help track down the individuals and arrested six suspects between the ages of 23 and 31 inside an apartment, according to reports. Officers also found various weapons inside, including samurai swords, nunchucks and knives.

Germans have been under lockdown since March 22. The government banned gatherings of more than two people shortly after. The order is set to expire on April 19, but German officials say it could be a long time before the lockdown is scaled back.

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The COVID-19 virus has sickened 125,452 people in Germany, killing 2,871 as of Sunday.