Angela Merkel sacks Germany's intelligence chief amid anti-migrant demonstrations
The head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency is being replaced after clashing with Chancellor Angela Merkel over anti-migrant violence in the country.
Merkel's office released a short statement Tuesday saying the head of Germany's BfV spy agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, will be moved to a new position within the Interior Ministry.
The decision, which follows three-way talks between Merkel and the heads of two other parties in her governing coalition, is a defeat for conservatives in her Union bloc.
The centre-left Social Democrats and some in Merkel's party had been calling for Maassen to be fired for playing down recent far-right violence in the eastern city of Chemnitz.
Denies ties to far-right party
Maassen questioned the authenticity of video footage of far-right protesters chasing migrants in the streets of Chemnitz.
In office since 2012, Maassen has also been criticized for alleged improper contacts with members of the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany, which he denies.
The Maassen row has exposed deep divisions in German society over Merkel's 2015 decision to open the country's borders to refugees fleeing wars in Syria and elsewhere. More than one million have come since then.
The recent fatal stabbing of a Cuban-German man in Chemnitz has exacerbated tensions, with violent protests ensuing in the eastern city.
A German court on Tuesday released an Iraqi asylum seeker detained since last month in the case, his lawyer and a prosecutor said.
A Syrian man who was also detained over the stabbing of the man remains in custody, the prosecutor said.
A third suspect is still on the run in connection with the killing of the 35-year-old carpenter identified only as Daniel H.
With files from Reuters