Mob attacks Pakistanis, Syrian in Germany
|Source: The Hitavada Date: 12 Jan 2016 10:15:52|
BERLIN, Jan 11 (AP)
A GROUP of Pakistanis and a Syrian were attacked in Cologne amid tensions over New Year’s Eve assaults in the city that have been blamed largely on foreigners, police said on Monday.
Six Pakistani nationals were attacked on Sunday by around 20 people and two of them were briefly admitted to a hospital, police said. A Syrian man was also attacked by five people. He was injured but didn’t need treatment. Police said they received tips on Sunday afternoon about groups of people who would “seek provocation,” but were still investigating whether the subsequent attacks were racially motivated and whether there was any link to the New Year’s assaults.
Those assaults have stoked tensions over Germany’s open-door policy to refugees and prompted politicians to call for tougher laws against migrants who commit crimes. “As abominable as the crimes in Cologne and other cities were, one thing remains clear: there is no justification for blanket agitation against foreigners,” Justice Minister Heiko Maas said, adding that some people “appear just to have been waiting for the events of Cologne.”
Authorities and witnesses said the New Year’s Eve attackers were among a group of about a thousand people, described as predominantly Arab and North African men, who gathered at Cologne’s central train station.
Some broke off into small groups and groped and robbed women, police said.
Cologne police say 516 criminal complaints have now been filed with them in connection to the New Year’s attacks. About
40 percent involve allegations of sexual offenses.
Cologne’s police drew criticism both for their response and for their slowness to release information on what had happened. Police chief Wolfgang Albers was dismissed Friday by North Rhine-Westphalia state’s interior minister, Ralf Jaeger.