‘Attempted murder’: 10 injured in arson attack on German refugee shelter
At least 10 people, including a two-month-old baby, are suffering respiratory injuries following an arson attack on a refugee camp in Germany. Still, despite a growing number of xenophobic attacks, the country is set to welcome well over a million newcomers this year.
Ten refugees suffered from smoke inhalation-related injuries after arsonists started a fire in a migrant residence building in Altenburg, east Germany. The building was being used as a refugee shelter, housing 70 refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.
The attack was reported at around 3:00am local time (2:00am GMT) on Monday, allegedly after two baby strollers were in the corridor of the building were lit on fire. The police have launched an investigation into the incident.
On Monday, the police said that they are not yet sure whether the attack had a “xenophobic” motive. The damage was estimated at around €20,000 ($22,000).
“I am stunned that there are people that other people can do such a thing. That’s attempted murder,” said district administrator, Landrätin Michaele Sojka.
German Bundestag MP Frank Tempel, meanwhile said that the attack has a “high probability of a xenophobic background.” He blamed “prejudice and suspicion” that are present among some Germans.
A growing number of refugee sites have been targeted across Germany through the course of the year. As of October 2015, over 490 attacks on inhabited and uninhabited refugee shelters have been recorded, according to the German Interior Ministry.
In the meantime, Germany, which is pursuing an open door migrant policy, is set to accept well over a million migrants by the end of the year.
In the first eleven months of this year a total of 965,000 people were officially registered as asylum seekers in Germany, interior minister Thomas de Maiziere announced. Some 206,000 new arrivals were registered in November alone. Migrants continue to arrive some 2,000-3,000 daily to German borders.