Germany's interior minister on Friday accused the country's far-right of fomenting hatred towards asylum seekers.

Thomas de Maiziere, who as head of the Interior Ministry oversees the surveillance of far-right groups, made the claim in response to a wave of demonstrations in recent weeks against what has been described as a "creeping Islamization" of society.

Following a conference in Cologne attended by interior ministers from Germany's 16 states, de Maiziere made his position clear: "We're not going to let them use the truly tough issues of refugees and political asylum for their own ends."

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