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German police raid self-proclaimed "Reich citizens"

German police raid self-proclaimed "Reich citizens"German police are raiding homes and offices linked to a group of anti-government extremists suspected of trying to establish their own state, AP said on Tuesday.

Police say 15 premises in the states of Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate are being searched.

Upper Bavaria police said Tuesday some of the searches are being conducted with tactical response units present due to the possibility that the suspects might act violently.

Seven people are suspected of engaging in forgery by producing documents purportedly issued by the "German Reich." Nine others are suspected sympathizers or customers.

German authorities have expressed growing concern about the grouping, which has been compared to the U.S. sovereign citizen movement.

A police officer was killed and three others were wounded last year in armed standoffs with members of the so-called Reich Citizens' Movement.

German authorities started the crackdown on "Reichsbuerger" or "Citizens of the Reich', a far-right movement long dismissed as malcontents and crackpots but now seen as a growing threat, at the end on January.

The Reichsbuerger refuse to recognise the legitimacy of the modern German republic and generally believe in the continued existence of the pre-war German Reich, while some idolise Nazi Germany. Some see modern Germany as a US colony and argue that the Reich’s 1919 Weimar Constitution and its formers borders which extend far into present-day Poland remain valid.
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