Police in Basel have banned the first anti-Islam demonstration by the German-based PEGIDA movement in Switzerland and a counter-rally by left-wing groups, they said on Friday, citing security concerns.

"The cantonal police of the city of Basel have decided to withdraw authorisations granted to the two demonstrations planned on Feb. 3 on the market square," a statement said.

It said the "expected participation of several groups prone to violence on both sides, from Switzerland and from abroad, led to this decision".

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