• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
New Year's Eve sexual assaults
Spate of racist mob attacks shocks Cologne
Photo: DPA

Spate of racist mob attacks shocks Cologne

AFP/The Local · 11 Jan 2016, 16:19

Published: 11 Jan 2016 08:26 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Jan 2016 16:19 GMT+01:00

Syrians, Pakistanis and African men were among the victims of Sunday's mob violence in the western city on Sunday, the scene of a series of New Year's Eve sexual assaults on women that have been blamed on migrants.

There were four separate attacks which police were referring to as "anti-foreigner crimes," crime division chief Norbert Wagner said.

Since Thursday, several people known for involvement in hooliganism had issued calls on social media for people to join several "non-violent strolls" in central Cologne, he said.

Such a term is a common euphemism for a march among far-right groups.

"In these four assault cases, we have to presume they were connected with these so-called strolls," said Wagner, adding that far-right activists were among the marchers.

Express newspaper reports that a group of hooligans and bikers had arranged on Facebook to go on a “manhunt” in the Cologne city centre and “clear the place out”

So far, none of the perpetrators have been caught although police questioned 153 people on Sunday night, 13 of whom were known for previous far-right offences.

Another 18 had ties to the city's biker gangs or were employed as club doormen, police said.

In the first attack, which took place in the early evening, some 25 men chased a man of African appearance who ran to seek protection from a group of six Pakistanis.

"The pursuers then beat and kicked these young Pakistani men," Wagner said.

In another attack, eight people beat a 39-year-old Syrian at the central railway station. Two other assaults targeted three men from Guinea, and another Syrian man.

Story continues below…

Police detained four people, but none of them led to a formal arrest, with the investigation and the investigation was ongoing.

Operations chief Michael Temme said Cologne police would step up city patrols for the foreseeable future, especially around the central railway station area near the landmark Cologne Cathedral.

"We will be highly active and will do everything possible" to prevent repeat attacks, he said.

Cologne police have come in for criticism for failing to prevent the New Year's Eve chaos, when hundreds of women were groped and robbed.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Dutch join hunt for German terrorists-turned-outlaws
From left to right: Ernst-Volker Staub, Daniela Klette and Burkhard Garweg. Photo: DPA.

Dutch police on Tuesday told people to be on the lookout for three German far-left militants, at large for decades and suspected of a string of recent heists.

German Olympic champion savages 'pro-doping' IOC
Robert Harting. Photo: DPA

Olympic discus champion Robert Harting on Tuesday launched a verbal attack on compatriot Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, for the IOC's stance on state-run Russian doping.

Man gets life in jail for murder of two young children
Silvio Schulz. Photo: DPA

A former security guard was handed a life sentence Tuesday for murdering two children, one of them a four-year-old Bosnian boy snatched from a crowded migrant registration centre last year.

Munich shooting
German Turks mourn Munich shooting victims
Flowers for the victims. Photo: DPA

Seven of the nine victims were Muslim.

Doctor killed in Berlin hospital shooting: police
Police at the scene in southern Berlin. Photo: DPA

A doctor has died after being shot at a Berlin hospital by an elderly man, Berlin police said on Twitter on Tuesday.

The Local List
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts

These hidden spots are steeped in shadows of their past and just begging to be explored...

Berlin refugee teen prepares to swim at the Olympics
Photo: DPA

Eighteen-year-old refugee Yusra Mardini has pulled a boat of 20 refugees from the middle of the Aegean to the Greek shore. Now she's preparing to swim at the Olympics.

Opinion
There still hasn’t been an Isis attack on Germany
The attack site in Ansbach. Photo: DPA

The last week has been brutal and shocking, but we need to stay calm and keep the events we have witnessed in perspective, argues Jörg Luyken.

How plainclothes cops caused panic at Munich shooting
Photo: DPA

Plainclothes officers can help in fight against gun attacks. But Munich showed that they can lead to confusion in efforts to track down the real attackers.

Immigration and integration Germany's 'biggest challenge'
Migrants queuing at a reception centre in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Eighty-three percent of Germans see immigration as Germany's "biggest challenge" - that's twice as many as a year ago, and more than in any of the other countries surveyed.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,756
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd