Aug 17, 2:36 AM EDT

Germany: Merkel's deputy flips bird at far-right protesters

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BERLIN (AP) -- A top German politician has received applause - and some criticism - after making an unambiguous gesture of disdain toward far-right protesters.

A video posted online late Tuesday shows Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel flipping the bird at a group of neo-Nazis in the central German town of Salzgitter on Friday.

The clip shows about 10 far-right protesters holding placards accusing Chancellor Angela Merkel's deputy of being a "race traitor" and praising Gabriel's late father, a committed Nazi.

At first, the leader of the center-left Social Democratic Party is seen laughing at the demonstrators before raising his middle finger and turning away. While some on social media criticized Gabriel for his coarse reaction, many praised the gesture, with one user on Facebook commenting: "I can't like that often enough."

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