East Germany's 40th anniversary celebrations ended with fighting in the streets Saturday, and Communist authorities called out troops in East Berlin.
Thousands of demonstrators demanding political change, continued their protests after Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, returned to Moscow.Police waving batons also charged into several thousand demonstrators in the southern city of Leipzig. Church sources said there were arrests and injuries, but they had no exact figures.
Trouble flared after thousands of people chanting "Gorby, Gorby" and "freedom" took to the streets of East Berlin.
Special internal troops were called out and posted around the Communist Party's Central Committee headquarters as the demonstrators marched through the city for several hours Saturday evening.
The East Berlin protest began when thousands of young people gathered on a central square and marched to the Palace of the Republic hoping to see Gorbachev.
When he did not appear, the demonstrators began marching through the streets, their numbers swelling as they went. People cheered them from balconies and trains on overhead railways sounded their horns in a show of solidarity.
"Democracy now! Cops out!" the protesters shouted. "Citizens, stop watching television, come and join the demonstration."
Many of the demonstrators stopped when the procession reached the Gethsemane Church, where groups demanding political reform have recently held meetings.
The demonstrations followed other protests in Leipzig and Dresden this week by East Germans demanding reform from their government, which has refused to embrace the political liberalization launched by Gorbachev in the Soviet Union.
East Germany's unyielding leaders, alarmed by weeks of bubbling dissent and the exodus to the West of more than 40,000 disgruntled citizens in the past month, had imposed a security clampdown in an attempt to prevent protests from spoiling the celebrations.
The hardline East German Communist state has deployed police and plainclothed Stasi secret police in strength in recent weeks to thwart demonstrations for reform and stop would-be emigrants from fleeing to the West.
Guests at the reception in the palace could be seen peering out the large smoked windows of the congress hall at the crowd. Gorbachev left East Berlin after the reception.
Saturday's protests followed three nights of unrest in the southern city of Dresden and a huge demonstration in Leipzig on Monday by people demanding political reforms.
The protest in Dresden Wednesday night developed into one of the worst riots in the Communist state. Ninety people were injured in clashes with police.
Gorbachev, during his two-day visit in East Berlin, was careful not to comment directly on the unrest or the exodus of disgruntled East Germans, mainly through Warsaw Pact allies Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
But he encouraged the East German leadership to cooperate with all groups in society and said Moscow could not solve East Berlin's problems.