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24 Dec, 2015 13:00

2 houses hosting refugees burnt down in Bavaria

2 houses hosting refugees burnt down in Bavaria

Police suspect arson in an incident which saw two houses inhabited by families of migrants go up in flames in the German town of Nördlingen, Bavaria, on Wednesday evening. Twelve people, seven of them teens, have been reported injured.

The two houses, which neighbor each other, caught fire almost simultaneously at about 20:45 local time. In the first house, where the fire started in a “totally trashed cellar,” 11 inhabitants, including seven teenagers, were poisoned by smoke and combustion products.

In the neighboring house, which caught fire shortly after, one man received injuries while trying to put out burning linen which was piled up on a washing machine.

Authorities estimate the total damage of both fires at €10,000 (US$10,900).

Police report that the second case could already be regarded as proved arson, with evidence found that the laundry was set on fire deliberately.

Nördlingen police officers have arrested a 22-year-old man who was present at the scene while  firefighters were putting out the flames.

Police say "it cannot be excluded that the [acts of arson] are hate crimes."

The incident in Nördlingen has added to the gloomy statistics of attacks on refugee homes in Germany, where according to estimates released in early December by Die Zeit newspaper, there have been 222 recorded attacks on migrant shelters in 2015.

Europe is in the midst of a migrant crisis, and in the countries that bear the greatest influx of refugees the situation is no different from Germany’s.

In Sweden, arson attacks directed against newly-arrived asylum seekers have been a regular occurrence.

Despite tight security and secrecy over the location of temporary facilities used by refugees and migrants, opponents of the “resettlement of peoples” have set buildings allocated for migrants on fire to prevent their arrival and stop them from settling in.

READ MORE: Firefighters battle 5th suspected arson at Swedish refugee shelters in 2 weeks

In Norway, which has already registered a record number of migrants, the setting ablaze of facilities accommodating refugees has also been reported.

READ MORE: Fierce blaze devastates Norway refugee shelter amid record migrant influx (VIDEO)

In early December, news appeared that the conservative coalition currently running Norway is advancing its anti-immigrant platform by offering refugees nearly US$10,000 and free flights home in order to persuade them to leave the country.

READ MORE: Right-wing Norway govt paying asylum seekers to leave country