Thugida supporter. The 88 in the tattoo is code for the Nazi salute Heil Hitler, with 'h' the eight letter in the alphabet Twitter

Violence erupted between far-right demonstrators and anti-fascists at a rally in the central German city of Jena on the birthday of Adolf Hitler, Wednesday 20 April. The march was held by supporters of the Thügida group, the Thuringia province offshoot of the anti-Islam Pegida movement.

About 200 Thügida supporters carried torches and held aloft banners with the black, white and red of the former German empire. They were met by 3,000 counter-demonstrators, who hurled fireworks and bottles at them, reported German press agency DPA.

Police said that 15 officers were injured as they attempted to prevent counter-demonstrators breaking through police lines to confront Thügida supporters. Several police vehicles were damaged by projectiles thrown by protesters, and police intervened in break-up scuffles between rival demonstrators.

Officers used pepper spray to control the crowd, and recorded 35 criminal offences by demonstrators on both sides. Figures on the number of demonstrators injured is not available.

In recent months the Pegida movement has expanded beyond its eastern German heartlands, with affiliated groups holding rallies in Cologne and Leipzig in the wake of mass sexual assaults on New Year's Eve.

A court overturned a police ban on the rally taking place on Hitler's birthday, arguing the group was free to demonstrate as long as it did not celebrate Hitler's legacy.