The German military has warned its soldiers not to wear uniforms during the G20 summit in Hamburg out fears they might get attacked by “violent left-wing extremists,” magazine Der Spiegel reported Wednesday.
Mass protests are already taking place across Hamburg before world leaders arrive Friday for the two-day summit. The military considers the summit a “crystallization point” for the left-wing extremist scene, as tens of thousands of protestors from across Europe will mobilize.
The Bundeswehr has instructed its personnel to only dress in civilian clothing as they could be the target of attacks. The restriction affects all soldiers in the area and will be in place Wednesday through Sunday.
“Soldiers in uniform who are moving around the city during the announced protests can be the target of spontaneous attacks by violent left-wing extremist protests,” Germany’s Ministry of Defense said in an internal message, according to Spiegel.
The Bundeswehr further said attacks on the city’s infrastructure can be expected, including blockades of roads and the city’s port. Experts will be on standby in case a biological or chemical attack is suspected. A total of 20,000 police officers have also been deployed.
Attendees at the summit include U.S. President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who hosts the event.
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