Prague, Sept 4 (CTK) - There are 500 to 600 neo-Nazis and some 5000 people who openly sympathise with far-right extremism, and most of them are based in the Ostrava region, Prague and North Bohemia, Robert Slachta, head of the police squad fighting organised crime (UOOZ) told Czech Television (CT) yesterday.
Far-right extremists had nothing to do with the beginning of the problems in the Sluknov area in northern Bohemia but they are now trying to take advantage of the tension between Romanies and majority population, Slachta said.
In reaction to two brutal attacks by Romanies in a border area in August, the public started protesting against the violence. The far-right Workers' Party of Social Justice (DSSS) and other groups have recently been organising demonstrations against Romany crime in northern Bohemian towns.
On Friday, a demonstration aimed against Romanies was held in Varnsdorf. On Saturday, a hundred of extremists joined a march through this town.
The police have succeeded in preventing clashes between extremists and Romanies so far. A riot police squad was sent to the area to help maintain order and security.
Deputy Police President Vladislav Husak said the police fear that conflicts might arise in other potentially risky regions than northern Bohemia, too, and they monitor the situation.
Husak said locals prevailed in the protest held this weekend but the marches scheduled for next weekend will probably be a prevailingly extremist event.