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Political violence hit record levels last year

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Political violence hit record levels last year
Photo: DPA
15:13 CEST+02:00
Political violence hit a record high in Germany last year with authorities registering more than 30,000 politically motivated crimes, according to figures released on Friday.

The interior ministry said the number of politically motivated violent incidents rose from 2,636 in 2010 to 3,108 in 2011 – an increase of 17.9 percent. This is the highest figure since the current system of calculating statistics was introduced in 2001.

The most frequently violent group were Germany's left-wing extremists, who were responsible for a total of 1,809 political attacks, an increase of 472 or 31.4 percent.

This sharp rise in left-wing violence has confirmed the government's fears that the drop in 2010 had been an exception to the increases which have been observed since 2005, according to the interior ministry.

Violent acts by foreigners, particularly at demonstrations, saw the sharpest rise from 153 to 256 - a whopping 67.4 percent increase on 2010. Overall, last year saw the highest number of violent acts at demonstrations since 2001.

The figures showed a rise in the number of xenophobic attacks of just under 23 percent in 2011 over the year before.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich spoke of a “latent brutality” among the far right which explained why more people were injured in racist attacks than in any other kind.

Overall, the number of right-wing attacks remained steady, with a slight increase of 2.7 percent bringing the total number to 828 in 2011.

High figures were partly due to the discovery of the murderous neo-Nazi terrorist cell the National Socialist Underground, responsible for killing at least nine people from immigrant backgrounds and a German policewoman.

The Local/jlb

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