23-year-old Syrian injured after shots fired at hostel in Germany

A 23-year-old refugee was injured when several shots were fired at a home for asylum seekers in a suburb of Frankfurt, police confirmed on Monday.

The bullets were fired through a window in the hostel in Dreieich, where the man had been sleeping. He was brought to a nearby hospital with minor injuries and released soon thereafter.

Live bullets are rarely fired in Germany, and a comparatively small number of people are licensed to carry firearms.

Police declined to comment on whether the crime was motivated by anti-immigrant sentiment and said their investigation was ongoing.

The scene has been sealed off for a forensic investigation and the police has called for witnesses to come forward.

A Syrian witness told dpa he had seen a masked figure firing a hand-held weapon six or seven times at the refugee hostel. He said the victim also hailed from Syria.

Separately, mass circulation newspaper Bild reported that a 25-year-old Syrian refugee in the eastern state of Saxony was brutally beaten by unknown assailants late on Sunday, prompting unrest in a nearby refugee accommodation.

Witnesses told the newspaper that refugees were protesting the fact that security personnel had failed to call the police in a timely manner after the attack. Two refugees were injured as security attempted to subdue the unrest.

The two incidents are the latest in a wave of anti-immigrant and anti-foreigner crimes in Germany, where over 1 million people mainly from war-torn countries in the Middle East have sought asylum in 2015.

By mid-November, the authorities had recorded 1,610 violent crimes against migrants and their accommodation.

Also on Monday, Berlin's State Office for Health and Social Affairs - the agency known by its German acronym Lageso, which is responsible for registering refugees - reopened after closing over the holidays.

Hundreds of people waiting to register huddled in the cold outside the offices of Lageso, which has become a symbol for the country's lumbering and chaotic response to the refugee influx.

Last update: Mon, 04/01/2016 - 17:48
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