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Right-Wing Extremism

Cologne remembers tenth anniversary of NSU nailbomb attack

A three-day event to commemorate a nail-bomb attack by the far-right National Socialist Underground group culminates today, with a rally against racism. German President Joachim Gauck is set to close the event.

Tens of thousands of people were expected to attend a rally to mark the end of the three-day event, which takes place on the regional holiday of Pentecost in the western city of Cologne.

German President Joachim Gauck was set to address the gathering, as well as German entertainers including the singer Udo Lindenberg, musician and actor Peter Maffay and the Cologne group BAP.

The event, being held under the slogan "Birlikte" - Turkish for "standing together" - marks the tenth anniversary of a June 9, 2004, nailbomb attack in the city's mainly Turkish Keupstrasse thoroughfare. A suitcase on the bike's luggage carrier contained a nail bomb with more than five kilograms (11 pounds) of gunpowder.

The attack left 22 people injured, four of them severely, with much of the damage caused by shards of shattered glass and 10cm (4 inch)-long nails.

Victims taunted

The act was claimed by the neo-Nazi terror group National Socialist Underground, which ridiculed the victims in a video in which it said it was responsible. The goal was, according to charges read at an ongoing court case examining the actions of the NSU, "to kill or at least hurt as many customers and passers-by as possible."

Munich's Higher Regional Court, which is hearing the NSU case, has designated 35 individuals as joint plaintiffs for the Keupstrasse bombing.

rc/crh (dpa, epd)

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