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Frankfurt Security Officials Ban Parties After Saturday Riot

FILE - Police officers wearing face masks are pictured during a rally against restrictions in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus, in Frankfurt, Germany, May 23, 2020.

Police and security officials in Frankfurt, Germany, announced Monday they have banned late gatherings in that city’s opera square after a party there turned violent over the weekend, resulting in 39 arrests.

The square – known locally as the “Opernplatz” - had become a popular gathering place for what locals called “corona parties” as German clubs and bars remain closed because of the COVID pandemic.

Officials say as many as 3,000 people attended such a gathering Saturday and it was mostly peaceful through the night. But Frankfurt police chief Gerhard Beres said in early hours of Sunday, a brawl broke out and as police moved to stop it and help a bleeding man, the crowd turned on them, pelting them with bottles.

Beres said police arrested 39 suspected bottle-throwers, eight of whom were still in custody Sunday. Police said 29 of the 39 suspects arrested came to Frankfurt from outside.

At a news conference in Frankfurt Monday, Beres, and Frankfurt Security Chief Markus Frank condemned the actions of those who committed the violence and announced the square would now be closed after midnight Fridays and Saturdays. He said the goal was to send a signal to “troublemakers” that “it is just not worth it to come to Frankfurt.”