Jan 9, 2016 5:43 PM by Debbie Cobb
BERLIN (AP) - Hundreds of anti-Islam demonstrators and left wing counter protesters have taken to the streets of Cologne in response to a string of New Year's Eve sexual assaults and robberies in the city blamed largely on foreigners.
Police said Saturday that some 1,700 protesters from the anti-Islam PEGIDA movement were kept apart from 1,300 counter demonstrators in simultaneous protests outside the city's main train station.
Police said four people were taken into custody and the PEGIDA demonstration was shut down early after protesters threw firecrackers and bottles at some of the 1,700 police on hand. No injuries were immediately reported.
Earlier, hundreds of women's rights activists gathered outside Cologne's landmark cathedral to rally against the New Year's Eve violence.
Police described the attackers as men of Arab or North African appearance. The attacks have fueled calls for tighter controls on asylum seekers in Germany. The country received more than a million migrants in 2015.
5 hours ago