Leaders of Germany's anti-immigration AfD party have dissolved its state committee in Saarland for "serious violations" of party order. The local politicians allegedly kept close contact with right-wing extremists.

The populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) "saw no other option" but to disband the state leadership after investigating the far-right links, party spokesman Christian Lüth said on Thursday.

Claims of contacts between AfD members and the extremist National Democratic Party (NPD) were first published in the German "Stern" magazine several weeks ago. Many German politicians accuse the NPD of inciting racial hatred and glorifying Nazism.

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