Protesters and police clash ahead of anti-Islam conference in Stuttgart

Hundreds of left-wing demonstrators have clashed with police as they tried to block people entering a far-right party conference in the German city of Stuttgart on Saturday. Protesters burned tires and hurled fireworks and stones at police and AfD supporters. Up to 400 protesters were detained, said police, outside the venue where the Alternative fur Deutschland group was planning to meet. Cries of ‘Nazis out’ rang out as the 1,000 officers on duty blocked the protesters’ way.

Islam is not a religion like Catholic or Protestant Christianity but intellectually always associated with the takeover of the state

AfD deputy leader Alexander Gauland

The clashes came as the AfD sought to brand itself as openly anti-Islamic during the meeting. It wants to ban the burqa and outlaw minarets in Germany. Nearly 2,000 members of the party are registered to attend the conference. The party made gains in all three states taking part in regional elections last month.