One injured after shots fired at refugee 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 of the hostel in Dreieich, where the man was sleeping. He suffered minor injuries and has been released from hospital.

Nina Reininger, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office in nearby Darmstadt, told dpa: "If someone fires a weapon at housing which has people inside, I consider it a targeted attack."

Live bullets are rarely fired in Germany, and few 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.

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.

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 Sunday, triggering 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.

More than 1 million people, mainly from war-torn countries in the Middle East, sought asylum in Germany in 2015.

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

Berlin's State Office for Health and Social Affairs - known by its German acronym Lageso, which is responsible for registering refugees - reopened Monday after the Christmas and New Year 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: Tue, 12/01/2016 - 13:47
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