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2014 sees jump in refugee home attacks

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2014 sees jump in refugee home attacks
Refugees arriving at a former army barracks in Frankfurt (Oder). Photo: DPA
15:03 CET+01:00
Federal investigators said on Sunday that attacks against refugee housing had increased dramatically in 2014, but refugee organizations warned against panic.

Police recorded 86 separate incidents, from graffitied swastikas to broken windows and arson attempts, between January and September.

As many attacks were recorded in the first nine months of the year as in 2012 and 2013 put together, federal criminal investigators (BKA) told Spiegel.

And there were over 200 demonstrations against refugees in the first 10 months of the year, refugee organizations Pro Asyl and the Amadeu Antonio Foundation reported.

“You have to put it the numbers in context,” a Pro Asyl spokesman told The Local, saying that the increasing numbers of people arriving from conflict zones was bringing them into contact with parts of Germany where they might not have been seen before.

“There are a lot more places where refugees are being accommodated in Germany. Often in places where there are existing far-right structures.”

The other side of the coin was just as important to remember, he argued.

“A lot more people are prepared to help than I've seen over the last 25 or 30 years, it's nothing like the 1990s.

“There is only very limited support for the far-right extremists... there's a broad consensus about this issue (of welcoming refugees), even if there are administrative problems when they first arrive.”

Germany's asylum system has been plagued by problems as the number of people arriving from Iraq and Syria has increased in 2014, with many refugees living in temporary accommodation.

An Interior Ministry spokesman told Spiegel they were closely monitoring the number of attacks.

SEE ALSO: What will Berlin do for Syria's refugees?

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