Growing xenophobia and rightwing extremism could threaten peace in eastern Germany, the government warned Wednesday, voicing fears over the impact of a series of attacks on refugees in the region.

In a report urging mainstream society to take a stronger stand against anti-migrant action, it highlighted a worrying trend -- that in many demonstrations against asylum seekers, the line between popular protest and far-right agitation was becoming blurred.

"Rightwing extremism in all forms poses a very serious threat to the societal and economic development" of eastern Germany, said Iris Gleicke, who is the government's point person for national unity.

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