Germany Stunned by Rash of Sex Assaults by Arab Men

Germany Stunned by Rash of Sex Assaults by Arab Men

Germany Stunned by Rash of Sex Assaults by Arab Men

The German government Tuesday condemned dozens of apparently coordinated sexual assaults against women on New Year's Eve in the western city of Cologne blamed on Arab men but warned against anti-migrant scapegoating.

Justice Minister Heiko Mass called for a thorough investigation of the rash of attacks, ranging from groping to at least one reported rape, allegedly committed in a large crowd of revellers during year-end festivities at the city's main train station.

"This represents a new dimension of crime that we will have to get to grips with," he told reporters, adding that the assaults had appeared to be "coordinated".

"The authorities are working intensively to determine who was behind this."

Asked by a journalist whether the attackers could have been refugees, Maas said police were still working to identify them.

"This is not about where someone is from but what they did," he said.

"Making an issue out of it, lumping it together with the refugee issue, is nothing but exploitation. Now is the time to determine the facts and then decide on the necessary consequences."

Police in Cologne said they had received 90 criminal complaints by Tuesday and quoted witnesses as saying that groups of 20-30 young men "who appeared to be of Arab origin" had surrounded victims, assaulted them and in several cases robbed them.

 

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