The German government said Friday it was sending police reinforcements to the eastern state of Saxony, following violent anti-migrant protests which prompted a ban on rallies in the flashpoint town of Heidenau.

Heidenau, a town of around 16,000 inhabitants near Dresden, has become the focus of Germany's struggle to absorb a vast wave of asylum seekers that is expected to reach a record 800,000 this year.

"Saxony sought the help of federal police and this support will be provided," interior ministry spokesman Johannes Dimroth said, without saying how many officers would be deployed.

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