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CRIME

Italian tourist attacked at Berlin metro station

An Italian tourist is in a serious condition after being kicked in the head by three strangers at a Berlin metro station on the weekend.

Italian tourist attacked at Berlin metro station
The attack happened at Schlesisches Tor metro station in Berlin. Photo: selfmade/Wikicommons

The incident happened on Saturday morning at the Schlesisches Tor metro station in Kreuzberg.  

The 23-year-old tourist was attacked with pepper spray by three unknown attackers before being kicked in the head. One of the attackers also pushed him to the ground with a billboard, Italian daily La Repubblica reported.

The men fled when a passer-by intervened to stop them.

The Italian was taken to hospital suffering a hairline fracture to his skull and neck. A police spokesman said that the man’s life was not at risk.

The motive for the attack is not yet known but police are ruling out racism. Police believe that alcohol could have fueled the incident.

“They struggled on all night and were perhaps coming back home drunk from a party. It happens on the weekend in Berlin,” a police spokesperson was quoted as saying.

This isn’t the first attack of this nature to occur in a Berlin metro station.

In a previous attack, a 25-year-old was seriously injured at Klosterstrasse metro station after strangers hit, kicked and stabbed him before throwing him onto the train tracks.  

The latest attack was just one of several reported over the weekend in Germany.

In Hamburg a 22-year-old man was killed by a sharp object after trying to defend a girl who was arguing with her 20-year-old boyfriend. He died at the scene.

And in Berlin a man assaulted two men aged 25 and 42 with a knife on a bus before fleeing at the Nikolaiviertel bus stop in the city centre. The two were taken to hospital.

BERLIN

Blaze-hit section of Berlin’s Grunewald forest to ‘remain shut for years’

The closure in Berlin Grunewald, where a disastrous fire spread earlier this month, is due to exploded munition remnants littering the forest floor.

Blaze-hit section of Berlin’s Grunewald forest to 'remain shut for years'

Two weeks since a devastating fire ravaged part of Berlin’s Grunewald forest, the head of the city’s forests division says the burned out section will have to shut for the next few years.

At 3,000 hectares (about 7,400 acres), Grunewald is the largest green space in Berlin and located on the city’s western edge. The forest – which is nicknamed the ‘green lung’ of Berlin – is a popular area for hiking, biking, and swimming in its lakes.

The forest’s southern half also contains Sprengplatz, an area set up in 1950 to collect and detonate leftover munitions from WWII, particularly those left by allied bombing raids of the then-Nazi capital.

The fire, which broke out at Sprengplatz, scattered detonated many pieces of leftover munitions all over the surrounding forest floor.

READ ALSO: ‘Unprecedented’: How explosions and fires have rocked Berlin’s Grunewald forest

Berlin Forests says the police will be detonating larger explosives in the coming weeks, but that it will take much longer to search for and safely dispose of smaller pieces.

“It’s very time-consuming work and it will take years to collect everything,” Berlin Forests Head Gunnar Heyne told regional broadcaster rbb. “The forest will remain closed for at least that long.”

Heyne is confident though, that the forest itself will recover well quickly, particularly its oak and poplar trees.

While the area around Sprengplatz will remain shut, much of the rest of the forest, including the path to Grunewald’s popular Teufelsee—or “Devil’s Lake,” remain open.

READ ALSO: Firefighters bring Berlin forest fire under control after munitions explosion

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