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Report: Neo-Nazis in Germany heavily armed

BERLIN, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Germany's neo-Nazis appear to be more heavily armed than previously believed, the Interior Ministry says.

A ministry report, in response to a parliamentary inquiry, says the 811 weapons confiscated from right-wing extremist groups in 2009 and 2010 included handguns, rifles, military-grade firearms, pepper spray, more than 40 explosive devices and more than 300 blades, Der Spiegel reported Wednesday.

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"The increasing number of weapons found in the possession of neo-fascists prove that the militant right is arming themselves to an alarming degree," Ulla Jelpke, the domestic affairs representative for the far-left Left Party in the German Parliament, told the daily Berliner Zeitung. "Of particular concern is the strong increase in the number of firearms."

The Interior Ministry prepared the report in response to a request filed by the Left Party faction in Parliament.

The report comes on the heels of revelations that a neo-Nazi terror cell based in the eastern German town of Zwickau was responsible for nine slayings targeting immigrants from 2000 to 2006 as well as the 2007 death of a police officer. The three-member cell had been operating under cover 14 years, Der Spiegel said.

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A parliamentary committee was to continue examining possible police errors made in investigations into the killings. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany's domestic intelligence agency, has been criticized for internal communication problems that contributed to the slayings remaining unsolved for so long.

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