German police warn of rising violence against refugees

The chief of Germany's federal police said he is worried about the growing number of attacks against asylum seekers in the country.

"Especially of concern is the increasing level of violence," Holger Muench, president of the Federal Criminal Police, told the Funke Media Group in an interview published Saturday.

There have been 45 arson attacks against refugee shelters so far this year, he said.

"The perpetrators are predominantly male, and nearly 80 per cent come from the place where the offence was committed," he said of the arsonists.

Muench said there is no indication the attacks are being organized at a national level by right-wing extremist groups.

"But we cannot completely exclude the risk of criminal or even terrorist structures forming" around anti-refugee sentiment, he cautioned.

"We can't do that and take this threat very seriously," Muench said.

Last update: Sat, 14/05/2016 - 13:37

More from Europe

One dead after central Italy hit by series of quakes

One person was killed on Wednesday when a building collapsed during four powerful quakes that shook central Italy on...

Boris Johnson compares French president to WWII prison guard

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Wednesday compared Francois Hollande to a World War II prison guard after...

Merkel pledges to hold Europe together after Brexit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged on Wednesday to hold the European Union together after Britain's planned...

Slovenia looks to capitalize on its connection to Melania Trump

As Donald Trump campaigned for the Oval Office, his Slovenian-born wife Melania did not receive much love and...

EC recommends Croatia's gradual integration into Schengen Information System

The European Commission on Wednesday made a recommendation to the Council of the European Union to gradually...