More than 3500 attacks on refugees in Germany in 2016

More than 3500 attacks on refugees in Germany in 2016

A crowd on onlookers reportedly cheered the fire and tried to block efforts to put it out.

A new German report has shown that more than 3,500 attacks on refugees and refugee hostels were committed in 2016, local media Deutsche Welle reported on Sunday.

At least 2,500 attacks targeted refugees in the country while the rest were crimes against their state-provided and private accommodations, the ministry said.

More than a million people were admitted into Germany as part of an influx of refugees that began to hit Europe in early 2015.

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Some of the terrorist attacks which have struck Europe over the past few years - like the one which killed 12 people at a Christmas market in Berlin in December - were perpetrated by asylum seekers, and that connection has been emphasized by anti-immigrant groups on the far right, including in Germany.

Lawmaker Ulla Jelpke from the leftist Die Linke party said the government was too focused on potential security threats from refugees while the real threat was coming from the far right.

As the BBC points out, 280,000 asylum seekers arrived in Germany in 2016, down from more than 600,000 in 2015.

However, in the middle of the electoral campaign for September 2017´s elections, the German Government intends to speed up the return of rejected migrants to appease some unhappy conservatives with their immigration policy.

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Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to open the doors to those fleeing conflict and persecution polarised the country and fuelled support for the right wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

There was no immediate comparison with previous years as it was only introduced as a separate category under politically motivated crimes in 2016.

The data, which was based on police statistics, showed that almost 10 acts of anti-refugee violence had occurred each day across Germany in 2016, showing a sharp increase compared with the previous years.

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